07/15/2020, 09.50
LEBANON
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Political-economic crisis and Covid-19 fuel suicides among the Lebanese

The last attempt took place yesterday, with a man who threw himself off a bridge and was seriously injured. Previously, a 61-year-old had shot himself in the center of Beirut, in protest at the institutions. On the same day, a 37-year-old family man had hanged himself. Authorities will not reveal the number of suicides for 2020.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Yet another attempted suicide was reported yesterday in Lebanon, with a man who threw himself off a bridge but survived the fall, again spotlighting the very serious social consequences of the political and economic crisis taking place in the country.

This escalation is pushing more and more people to end their lives, without discrimination between Lebanese citizens or migrants, both left without money or jobs.

The latest news story concerns a man who attempted to commit suicide yesterday morning by jumping off the Bourj Hammoud bridge, north of Beirut. Severely injured, he was hospitalized for the serious injuries sustained in the fall.

It echoes the desperate event of 10 days ago, when a suicide in broad daylight in the capital sparked a public outcry.

A 61-year-old man from Hermel, Békaa, shot himself in the street. On the sidewalk, abandoned beside him, a criminal record and a note in which he writes: "I am not faithless, it is hunger that has no faith”. Before the fatal blow, he waved the national flag and shouted: "For a free and independent Lebanon". The very same day news of a 37-year-old man, van driver and father of a 7-year-old girl, who hanged himself in Jadra, in the Saida region, disappeared into silence.

For weeks, Lebanon has been the scene of violent anti-government protests, exacerbated by the hyper-devaluation of the currency and by the worst economic crisis for decades, aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Maronite patriarch, Cardinal Beshara Raï, has intervened on several occasions denouncing the risk of poverty and the consequential collapse of the political, social and institutional pact on which nation is based, attacking among the other Amal and Hezbollah (even without mentioning them), which fuel "chaos and revolt".

Institutional sources report that the number of suicides for the current year is not yet available; in 2019 the figure was 176, while for the previous year 157. In the case of the last two suicides, both people made the gesture after losing everything and with the prospect of a black future. Two extreme cases, which have triggered a wave of anger across the country.

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