Stricken by grief, ‘Blue Whale’ victim's father speaks out

The father with his son, victim of Blue Whale.

By Nadia Al-Fawaz

ABHA — A Saudi boy, the latest victim in the Arab world of the "Blue Whale" game, executed exactly what the game asked him to do in the last stage of the competition in a zone called “cursed area”: to strangle himself, leaving the family in a state of shock and grief.

The grieving father of 12-year-old Abdul Rahman Al-Ahmari, who committed suicide because of the electronic game, said in an interview with Al-Arabiya English: “My son is in the final intermediate class in Sultan city, southwest of Saudi Arabia. We did not notice any strange behavior and he does not have a smart phone, but uses the family’s computer.”

Saad Al-Ahmari added: “On the day of his death, he was fasting and broke his fast with us and then went to his room which is close by. Later, we were getting ready to visit some family members when suddenly we could not find Abdul Rahman. We started searching for him around the house and at the neighbors, to realize the shocking tragedy finding him strangled with the window curtain.”

Abdul Rahman's father said that he started to search his son's belongings and was shocked to find that he has been psychologically influenced by the Blue Whale game, which takes the child from one stage to another until the completion of the 50th stage with a suicidal act.

The father said that the media and concerned parties should act immediately and raise awareness in society of the dangers that the young generation faces.

He said, "My son was a happy boy with a cheerful personality, performing his prayers and was involved in football and electronic games. We did not notice any strange behavior in him.”

He added that Abdul Rahman will be buried immediately after the completion of forensic procedures.

The deadly game requires players to go through 50 challenges over 50 days. The challenges begin with self-harm, leading up to the final challenge, which is suicide by hanging or jumping off a high building.

Information security expert Professor Essa Al-Smairi revealed the increasing warnings related to the Blue Whale game from around the world, after the suicide of more than 130 people in Russia alone.

He said: “The game starts with linking the player with a virtual group of other players by way of chatting and from there orders start to be given until they are executed over a period of 50 days, documented by pictures, like getting up early, knife-drawing of the whale on the player’s skin or watching horror movies, with no way out of it. Otherwise, the person will be threatened with death.”

Al-Smairi emphasized the need to raise awareness and tighten censorship by the families and concerned parties on such games. — Al-Arabiya English