Ingush child saved from ‘suicide game’

3 May 2017
Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Zarema Chakhkiyeva (ingushetia.ru)

Police in Ingushetia searched throughout the night to locate a child who had reached the final level of online ‘suicide game’ Blue Whale. Human rights defenders and police managed to find the girl before she could complete the game’s final assignment — to commit suicide.

[Read also: ‘Death games’ cause panic in Daghestan]

The girl, who comes from the city of Karabulak, is studying in her fifth year in school. Police and the Children’s Ombudswoman managed to find her at 04:00 on 30 April, using only her online nickname. After an unknown administrator of the game told her to wait to receive her final task by morning, which would usually mean either committing suicide or killing her family, the police, using the technical capabilities of the special services, tracked down her whereabouts and arrived at her house.

Children’s Ombudswoman Zarema Chakhkiyeva disclosed details of the case at a meeting with the head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

‘We spent the whole night looking for this child and we found her by four in the morning, while she was waiting for a call telling her to go outside and commit suicide’, Chakhkiyeva said.

According to the ombudswoman, the girl was a good pupil and her teachers never complained about her. She also had no problems in the family. The girl told investigators that she didn’t intend to take her own life, and had joined the game out of curiosity.

Blue Whale is an online game found on Russian social networks. Children are given secret assignments, such as carving a whale shape on their arm, and must prove that they complete them by providing pictures. The final, 20th, task is to either commit suicide or kill their relatives and friends. There have been several reports of suicides among teenagers attributed to the game in North Ossetia and Ingushetia. There are also reports of the game reaching Chechnya.

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