Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Suicide Cases Rising in Tajik Badakhstan

More and more young people are taking their own lives in Tajikistan’s mountainous southwest, and no one can really say why.
Farzona Abdulqaisova reports from this remote and sparsely-populated province, where the 31 suicide cases recorded so far this year are three times the number in the same period of 2008.

The reporter went to do a story about the case of a top student at the local university who committed suicide, and by the time she had finished reporting a second student had died.

There does not appear to be one single motive behind the suicides, and experts and young people alike cite economic pressures, depression, and the lack of things to do in Badakshan.

Would-be suicides commonly tie their own hands and feet and then drown themselves in rivers.

Preachers of the Ismaili branch of Islam which is prevalent in this region of Tajikistan say suicide is a mortal sin, but they are prepared to go against the rules and say funeral prayers for the sake of bereaved families.

More IWPR's Global Voices

Young Iraqis Are Demanding Change
A new generation is standing up for what they believe in - and they refuse to be intimidated.
Nineveh Reborn
Iraq: Women Plant Trees for Peace