Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Injury and Violence Research. (2022). 15(1). Retrieved from SIEC No: 20230262
Background: Prisoners of war (POWs) are usually at risk of suicide due to problems such as torture, social and emotional deprivation, etc. The present study aimed to investigate suicide cases among Iranian prisoners of war (POWs) over ten years of their presence in the camps in Iraq (1980-1990). Methods: Data required in this study were collected in two ways: 1- Iranian ex-POWs' death certificate by the Iraqi army clinic setting; 2- we interviewed 19 Iranian ex-POWs with sufficient information from detention camps and their events.  The collected data were age, sex, duration of captivity, date of death, the suicide, and places of suicide (camp name). Results: During eight years of the Iraq-Iran war, about 40000 Iranian soldiers captured by Iraqi soldiers. Of them, at least 11 persons (0.0275%) lost their lives due to suicide. The rate of suicide among Iranian ex-POWs in Iraq was variable from zero to 28 per 100000 people. Nine (82%) of deceased were among registered prisoners of war, and three (%27.3) were civilians. The highest rate was among prisoners that spent seven years of captivity. The most common method of suicide was hanging and burning, with 45.5% (5/11) and 18.2% (2/11), respectively. Conclusion: Social support and providing suitable treatment for chronic and incurable diseases or creating situations for returning such patients to their home could be essential for suicide prevention. Transferring them to a third country (under the supervision of international groups such as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) could be another way to reduce the amount of psychological stress and will also be helpful in their treatment.