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Egypt moves against fatal online games

Top prosecutor orders blocking ‘dangerous’ game platforms after Blue Whale-related deaths

Gulf News

Cairo: Egypt’s chief prosecutor has ordered a state telecom regulator to block “dangerous” online games blamed for several deaths among youngsters in the country.

Nabil Sadeq has instructed the National Agency for Telecommunication Regulation to take the “necessary” steps to block online platforms providing these games, including the notorious “Blue Whale” game, state television reported Sunday.

“These games target youngsters, and following their instructions result in causing harm to the practitioner, or to his kin, amounting to committing suicide and perpetrating murders,” the chief prosecutor said in a statement, according to the broadcaster.

“This makes it related to national security and the country’s supreme interests.”

The statement also said that Egypt will move through international judicial cooperation pacts to identify operators of such platforms and take legal action against them.

In recent weeks, Egyptian media reported several teen deaths, saying the victims had been induced by internet games to commit suicide.

Earlier this month, Egypt reacted with shock after the family of ex-MP Hamdy Al Fakharani said his 18-year-old son hanged himself inside his room under the influence of the “Blue Whale” game.

Similar deaths have since been reported in different parts of Egypt.

The country’s top Islamic body, Dar Al Ifta banned the game and urged the agencies concerned to criminalize such game platforms.

The deadly game, created by a Russian now in jail, is believed to have been inspired by a blue whale species that appears to commit suicide by purposefully beaching itself on shore.

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