Nepali worker laid to rest in Sulaimani after family unable to afford repatriation

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — A burial service for Ratana Bahadur, a 44-year-old Nepali worker who tragically took his own life three months ago, was finally conducted today in Sulaimani on Tuesday.

Ratana, who had been living in Sulaimani for six years, was laid to rest in the Christian cemetery of the city after a prolonged period of bureaucratic procedures and financial constraints.

Muhammad Hazhar, Head of the Foreign Workers Culture and Defense Organization, shed light on the challenges encountered in facilitating Ratana’s burial.

“The delay in his burial was due to the complexity of procedures, requiring cooperation and consent from multiple authorities including the Iraqi and Nepalese embassies, relevant offices in the Kurdistan Region, and a court decree.”

Financial hardship prevented Ratana’s family from repatriating his body to Nepal. Komal Tapam, another Nepali worker in Sulaimani, elaborated on the family’s plight. “I contacted Ratana’s family to arrange for his repatriation, but they couldn’t afford the expenses. Instead, they suggested burying him here in Sulaimani,” Tapam said.

The funeral of Ratana Bahadur sheds light on the challenges faced by foreign workers in the Kurdistan Region. According to statistics from the Foreign Workers Culture and Defense Organization, there are approximately 40,000 foreign workers from 27 different countries in the region. In 2023 alone, 18 foreign workers lost their lives, and the trend continues in 2024, with eight fatalities recorded in the first quarter.

Reporting by Hardi Osman

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