Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Workers Commit Suicide in Sharjah

Afkar Abdullah

12 August 2009
SHARJAH — Sharjah Police are worried about an increase in suicides in the emirate after two men killed themselves this week amidst rising job losses.
A senior Sharjah Police officer, who asked not to be named, said it comes as an increase in crime in the emirate has been noticed and linked to the international financial crisis and
ensuing layoffs.
A 28-year-old Indian man strangled himself by using a plastic cord on Monday. The man, a contracting firm employee, was found dead in his room in Industrial Area No 1 by his co-workers who called the police at 9.30pm.
His colleague told the police they didn’t observe any abnormalities in
his behaviour.
The second death was of a 24-year-old Indian worker, also belonging to a contracting company. His body was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in Al Sajjah area at 4pm earlier on Monday. He came back to his room during the work shift to commit suicide, co-workers told the police.
Earlier, the workers said the employee and some others had been informed about being laid off due to lack of projects. The company promised to send them back home and bring them back again when the situation improved.
Both bodies were moved to the forensic laboratory.
The official said it was the fourth suicide case in a short period of time, including the case of the Indonesian housemaid who jumped from the fourth floor on Al Wahda Street.
“There are a large number of labour accommodations in Sharjah’s industrial areas and some of the people who have lost jobs could easily take to crimes or even attempt suicide,” the officer said.
About two months ago, as the Khaleej Times had reported on the 41-year-old Nepalese man who went through a six-hour ‘suicide attempt’ drama on the Al Dhaid-Sharjah road. He climbed up a electricity pole and threatened to touch the high-tension wires if anyone dared to reach him.
During interrogation it has been found that the man didn’t receive his salary and the company had run out of business due to the recession.
The officer said Sharjah Police have tightened security measures to prevent crimes that could take place as the financial crisis impacts people.
A federal anti-suicide law was recently amended and approved by the Federal National Council to carry a
stricter penalty.
It stipulates that if a person who attempts to commit suicide is below 18 years of age, the person can be charged with premeditated murder.
According to sources at the Sharjah Police Research Centre, there have been various reasons for people taking such extreme steps as suicide, including marital disputes, loss of job, unemployment, or, sometimes in the case of housemaids, torture and other forms of abuse by employers.
Family related problems and frustration are also among other reasons.
Police studies have revealed that depression was the main cause, especially in the case of low-paid expatriate workers living away from their families.
Many cases were reported at labour camps or at company dormitories in remote areas of the city during the year.

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