suicide image
Illustrative image. Image Credit: Social media

Dubai: Jordan has announced that people trying to commit suicide in public places will be jailed for six months and/or fined JD100 (Dh500), local media reported.

The Kingdom’s parliament approved the new penalty to punish those who try to commit suicide but survive. “Those who attempt suicide in a public place shall face an imprisonment term of no less than six months and a fine of no more than JD100 or both penalties,” the new punishment states.

According to sociologist Hussein Khozahe said that criminalising attempted suicide will not prevent suicide or decrease the rates, Jordan times reported.

“The recent amendment is a hasty and dangerous decision, and will have negative social and economic consequences,” Khozahe added.

Suicide is considered a criminal offence in 20 countries, according to Khozahe, who pointed out that the rest of the world is trying to follow human rights standards on suicide.

Furthermore, Khozahe said that those who are suicidal are trying to deliver a message to society and government, that they are not “feeling okay” and that they are suffering.

Khozahe called on the government to prepare studies on suicide and its prevention, “instead of sending those with suicidal thoughts to prison”. The sociologist said that those who may be suicidal should be immediately referred to mental health centres.

Rand Khushman, a Jordanian psychiatrist, said that making suicide punishable by fines and imprisonment deters people from seeking the help they need and is “totally unfair and a step backwards”.