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Monday, August 2, 2021

Qatar authorities conduct dramatic rescue of suicidal man

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Authorities rescue man using a crane. Credit: MOI/Facebook

Qatar police and Civil Defense officers have successfully talked down a suicidal man who planned to jump to his death off of a high voltage power line, authorities said.

Officers, including from Lekwhiya, responded to a call about the man and tried to calm him down while the power supply was disconnected, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) said in a statement yesterday.

The man, described as an “Asian expatriate worker” was eventually brought down in a crane after speaking to officers “for a long time.”

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Chantelle D’mello/Doha News

The expat also talked to his wife by telephone over a loudspeaker.

The MOI did not clarify when or where the incident happened, but did say an investigation has been launched into the “circumstances of the incident.”

Taboo subject

Suicide is not a topic openly discussed in Qatar, and there are no official figures on how many people have killed themselves in recent years.

However, anecdotally there has been an uptick in reported suicides in the past two years by expats who have fallen into financial trouble after being laid off.

Rights groups have pointed out that migrant workers are often especially vulnerable due to unique stresses, such as knowing family members back home are depending on them for financial support.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: my_southborough/Flickr

Complicating matters is that attempting to commit suicide is illegal under Qatar’s penal code. A person convicted of this can face up to six years in prison and a fine of QR3,000.

And anyone who incites or assists with a suicide can face an even steeper penalty of seven to 10 years in prison.

Qatar has been working to improve its mental health services in recent years, acknowledging that depression is a prevalent problem in the community.

But care remains difficult to access for residents who are unfamiliar with navigating the healthcare system.

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