For many Ahwazis, suicide is the only way to escape the extreme poverty. High prices for staple foods are squeezing the lives of Ahwazis. In recent months, many suicide cases have been reported due to crushing poverty among Ahwazis.
Ahwazis react to the widespread Iranian disenfranchisement policies in many ways. Some head abroad looking for jobs. Growing economic pressures could push the suicide figure even higher in Ahwaz where over 5 in 10 people live under the international poverty line of $1 a day.
There are Ahwazis who do not have adequate income to buy the food that they need—they could be starving in some slums, for example, over 80 percent of the Arab population in Abadan city and its rural areas as well as around Muhammarah urban areas live on $1.25 a day or less, a key factor in causing extensive hunger.
Extreme poverty is driving Ahwazi Arab people to sell their Kidneys. Ahwazi Human rights activists are raising an alarm over a growth in the sale of Kidneys among Ahwazis.
A high number of Ahwazi Arabs are reportedly selling their Kidneys due to poverty and the harsh economic conditions. Some sell their kidney between 1500 and 2000 dollars.
Statistics from Iran's Ministry of Health reveal that in deprived areas around 13 people, 29 years of age on the average, putting an end to their lives every day. Hanging is the leading cause of most suicides, but self-immolation, drug overdose and poisoning are increasingly common.
While the regime growing the poverty has been a long-running priority to forced Ahwazis to leave their land. These little-known people brutally oppressed by the Iranian regime. Faced with poverty, discrimination and cultural oppression, Ahwazi Arabs have the highest suicide rate among all the ethnic groups in Iran.
Tehran University sociologist Dr Saeed Moeed Far claims that the highest rates of suicide are in less developed areas, such as among the Arabs of Al-Ahwaz region, especially among women and young men, due to the social and economic crisis in these areas.
News sources reported that an Ahwazi Arab young man of Mahshor city, on Saturday evening October 4 committed suicide on the grave of his father due to living conditions, crippling poverty, and segregation.
Due to desperation, poverty and job discrimination, there has been an increase in self-immolation cases in Ahwaz. One case is that of Omid Rashedi Amiri”, a 36-year-old Ahwazi citizen. He was suffering due to unemployment and not having his job contract renewed. He set himself on fire in protest and tragically died. Omid was married and had children. He self-immolated on Wednesday 2nd October at the Trade Unions office in Khalafiya County and was taken to Ahwaz Taleghani Hospital. There he passed away due to his severe injuries.
Another example was Younes Asakereh, also an Ahwazi Arab street vendor. In March his fruit kiosk was confiscated, he lost his means of employment, and in March, he self-immolated in protest in front of the City Hall and died from his injuries.
Ahwazi Arabs have largely been denied and excluded from the privileges of industrialisation in their occupied Ahwaz homeland with respect to employment and housing while they continue to suffer the adverse health and environmental effects.
The Ahwazis despite occupying a region that contains about 90% of Iran’s oil reserves, they have consistently been ignored and live in some of the gravest economic conditions in Iran. Not only are economic opportunities limited, but the Ahwazis have also endured more suffering and misery after the diversion of their freshwater sources to central Iran, leaving their region in severe drought.