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Social calamities in Iran


ImageIran Focus: London, Apr. 15 – More than one in ten murders in Iran are committed by parents who kill their own children, a senior police official has said.

Iran Focus

ImageLondon, Apr. 15 – More than one in ten murders in Iran are committed by parents who kill their own children, a senior police official has said.

Recent official statistics show that compared to the Persian calendar year 1386 (March 2007-March 2008), there has been a 3% increase in the number of parents murdered by children in 1387 (which ended March 20, 2009), deputy police investigator Mostafa Rajabi said at the end of last week, the state-run Tehran Times wrote on Tuesday.

A total of 16% of murders in Iran are committed by husbands, 6% by wives, 12% by parents, and 11% by the children, Rajabi said.

Authorities in Iran say drug addiction is the root of family disputes that lead to murders; however, an Iranian sociologist based in London says the blame lies squarely with the government's social policies.

"These grim figures stem from high poverty levels and rampant unemployment, for which the government is responsible. Sometimes parents think it is better if their child does not grow up in such poverty", said Hassan Memarzadeh.

"There are a staggering number of cases where husbands kill their wife and children before committing suicide. In the majority of such cases, the person has either been out of work for long periods or receives inadequate pay to meet the rising costs of supporting a family", he said.

The government said on Saturday that the country’s overall murder rate rose by 11% over the past year, adding that there was a rise of 23 percent in the number of female murder victims.

Still, Memarzadeh says illegal drugs are a contributing factor to the murder and suicide rate. The authorities in Iran even secretly help drug dealers to get their illegal products onto the streets, he says. "The ruling elite, particularly those allied to [former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani, facilitate drug distribution, especially among the young urban population. It is institutionalised; that's why it doesn't stop".

Asked why authorities would want addiction in their cities, Memarzadeh says, "It keeps the young people from focusing their anger on the regime. When you are an addict, you tend not to attend rallies".

But he also says that there were more than 7,000 anti-government protests in Iran over the past year, adding that one of the most active groups were university students unhappy with the government’s attempt to spread its fundamentalist culture on campuses.

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