File - Picture of the young man who jumped into the Ismailia Canal to kill himself as instructed by the Blue Whale online game
CAIRO – 14 April 2018: The deadly online games “Blue Whale” and “Mariam” continue claiming the lives of more victims, with seemingly no end in sight.
Over the course of three days, Egypt saw the deaths of three young people, whose deaths are believed to be linked to the hazardous psychological manipulation games, while an Alexandrian teen was saved from death after drinking a toxic concoction last week.
Here are the latest three suspected cases of Blue Whale/Mariam suicides:
Blue Whale’s danger claims more lives:
In Sharqia, a 24-year-old resident committed suicide by throwing himself in the Ismailia Canal on Thursday as he reached the final stage of the 50-task game, as claimed by a close friend to the victim.
Picture of the young man who jumped into the Ismailia Canal to kill himself as instructed by the Blue Whale online game
According to eyewitnesses, the young man was married and had a child. Before he threw himself off a bridge into the Ismailia Canal, he handed his mobile phone and other belongings to one of his father's friends.
The last thing he wrote on his Facebook account was “la ilah illa Allah” (There is no deity but Allah), which insinuates that he was going to die shortly after, one of the victim’s friends told Masrawy.
“He was coming from a well-off family and leading a normal marriage life,” the victim’s friend added.
The directorate of security in the governorate opened investigations into the case.
Suicide - Reuters
Another suspected case linked to the Blue Whale game was a 30-something young man, who was found sitting in front of his computer, dead, with a knife thrust through his neck. The initial investigations showed that that the Blue Whale-shaped sign was carved in his arm.
He was apparently battling through a serious psychological crisis and used to sit by himself for lengthy periods of time.
Student in Dakahlia killed by “Mariam”
A 21-year-old college student was found after hanging himself in his room. He reportedly had the horror game “Mariam” on his mobile phone.
The painful journey that the victim, Mohamed, was living through dates back to March, his father said in press remarks.
An in-game screenshot of Mariam online game
He was complaining that he had been suffering from a continuous headache and “constant ringing noise in his head”, the father said, adding that his deceased son had undergone several medical examinations that found that he was healthy and did not suffer from any sort of a physical pain.
The father continued, “He was turning into a completely introvert person and was always anxious and panicking over everything, even the trivial things.”
“We are a family of a rural and simple background; we did not know about the existence of such games,” the victim’s uncle told Masrawy, calling on the authorities to quickly intervene to ban such applications in Egypt.
The game is named after a supposedly lost daughter, who is trying to return to her family by the help of the user of the game. The user gets multiple personal and general questions from the application using horrifying visual and auditory effects.
In the wake of the death of former parliamentarian Hamdy Al Fakhrany’s son, which was also linked to the Blue Whale game, Dar Al Ifta issued a fatwa (religious edict) that prohibits playing the online game.
In its statement, Dar Al Ifta stated that suicide, in all its forms, is strongly prohibited and considered one of the greatest sins in Islam, adding that Blue Whale goads people into killing themselves and therefore playing it is a sin.
Blue Whale is a 50-task challenge and instructs its user to kill himself.
The game’s inventor, 22-year-old Philipp Budeikin, was sentenced in Russia to three years and four months in prison over charges of “inciting children to commit suicide” in July 2017, Moscow Times reported.