I heard on Wednesday that a nineteen-year-old Afghan resident who came as an asylum seeker to Finland took his life this week. A fellow Afghan who knew him said: “What happened is very sad. He wasn’t very social and liked to be by himself.”
UPDATE (10:13 pm): According to his friend, the young man wanted to see his sister in Iran who had died this year but couldn’t because he had a one-year residence permit and this made him sad. Migrant Tales cannot confirm if a person with a one-year residence permit can travel abroad.
The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) said in a statement last year that there have been 15-20 suicide attempts of which five resulted in deaths.
Migri said in a YLE story that there were 60 suicide attempts in 2016, of which 40 happened in August-September of that year. All in all, there were nearly 70 suicide attempts during 2016-2017, but these have fallen by “less than ten times” this year, according to YLE, which cites a Migri source.
“This year no one had lost his or her life due to a suicide attempt,” said Migri’s Olli Snellman was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat. “Last year there were one or two [deaths]. It’s a really small amount considering that there were 40,000 asylum seekers [in the country].”
Like a lot of news about asylum seekers, the narrative is the same: Play down their situation, fuel suspicion and mistrust. These aren’t “real” refugees anyway.
Like the young Afghan who took his life, it would be interesting to know how many commit suicide after they get their residence permit.
The person in the picture below is one such case.
The young nineteen-year-old Afghan who took his life this week.