Official accuses social media users of spreading disinformation about suicides

Orkhan Mansurzadeh: Online social networks ‘the main mouthpieces for social unrest, bloody coups, and wars’

Orkhan Mansurzadeh
Orkhan Mansurzadeh

The Press Service at Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has criticized users of social media in Azerbaijan for recent discussions of the country’s suicide rate.

Deputy Head of the MIA’s Press Service, Orkhan Mansurzadeh,


a group on social media, which he declined to name, for exaggerating the suicide rate in Azerbaijan. According to Mansurzadeh, the moderators of the unnamed group are ‘abusing the opportunities afforded by social media’ and ‘spreading disinformation.’

‘We would not be mistaken to say that, in our region and throughout the world in recent years, the social networks in question have caused a number of global problems as the main mouthpieces for social unrest, bloody coups, and wars,’ Mansurzadeh said.

It is unclear which specific social media platform or group Mansurzadeh was referring to, but there are many


of such discussions on social media as the number of suicides has increased in Azerbaijan in recent years.

According to media reports, the total number of suicides in Azerbaijan


from 138 in 2008 to 535 in 2015. In 2016 there were 797 total



Mansurzadeh dismissed the idea that the rise in the suicide rate in Azerbaijan is connected to social problems or the state of the economy. ‘Most people who commit suicide suffer from mental illness, chronic alcoholism, drug addiction, and other serious illnesses,’ he claimed.

However, a number of experts disagree. ‘Many people are unemployed, others are dissatisfied with their salaries, and these things are obstacles to their happiness,’


psychologist Vafa Akbar. ‘Often people need money to reach their goals and when they can’t find it they feel like their situation is hopeless.’

In 2015, the Azerbaijani currency, the manat (AZN),


half its value in relation to the dollar. The resulting economic chaos


a wave of protests across the country. At least two people have committed suicide by


themselves alive because they could no longer pay off loans which had been calculated in dollars.

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