The statistics have given rise to active discussion on social media, but the prosecutor’s office does not believe that there is a spike in suicide in Abkhazia
Abkhaz MP Raul Lolua published worrisome statistics concerning suicide rates on his Facebook page.
Over the past two months (May and June 2018), 12 suicides and four suicide attempts have been recorded.
The title of Lolua’s Facebook post was ‘Abkhaz TV won’t talk about this’.
“MPs receive many different kinds of information, and I believe it is my duty to share with the electorate the most important and significant facts, events and conditions, and not just for the sake of exchanging information; I am interested in the opinions of people and their attitudes towards these events in our state,” the MP wrote.
The incidents took place in Gagra, Gudauta, Gulrysh, Ochamchyr and Gali, as well as in Sukhum.
This information is absent from official crime reports, but a representative of the prosecutor’s office of Abkhazia, Daur Amichba, told journalists that the information is not ‘a secret’. He said that the tragedies were indeed recorded, but that three of the cases mentioned by Lolua in his post were absent from official records.
Amichba also said that there is no reason to believe that this indicates a spike in suicides.
Abkhaz social media is actively discussing the theme of suicide, and many say that the figures are ‘monstrous’.
Here are several typical comments:
“This is a horrendous indicator, given the population of the republic.”
“Poverty, despair, spiritual crisis … there are many reasons, but is anyone taking an interest in this? We live in self-isolation, everybody in his or her own shell. We have carried on [like this] for so long that we already believe in our ‘chosenness’, both before the Almighty and people.”
“This is horrible. But the horror is that we will later simply read about the events, and that is all it will come to. How can we find a solution? These people needed the help of a psychologist, or maybe a psychiatrist even. Everybody knows that people here prefer not to show [their depression], not to treat themselves – it’s considered a source of shame of course – what would people say?”
Social media users are also discussing an incident which occurred on 27 June 2018 when an Abkhaz repatriate, a father of four children, committed suicide. Details of the incident are still unknown.