Egyptian Lawmaker Wants to Criminalize Attempted Suicide
If an Egyptian lawmaker has his way, attempted suicide will be a criminal act in Egypt. Egyptian Freedom Party deputy chair Ahmed Mahana has proposed legislation that will punish the person with up to three years in a clinic, and leaving the decision to release those being held for attempted suicide to the committee responsible for supervising psychiatric facilities in Egypt, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported Sunday. Under the legislation, someone who attempts suicide again would be fined up to $3,200. Critics say the legislation will reinforce the social stigma of suicide. The number of suicides attempted annually in Egypt is a subject of some debate, The New Arab news website points out. The Arab Foundation for Human Rights said there were 201 suicides in the first six months of 2021, while the World Health Organization reported that 3,799 people attempted suicide in Egypt in 2016 alone. Meanwhile, an Egyptian government agency reported 69 suicides in 2017. Islam forbids suicide, both in the Quran and in statements of hadith.