A series of suicides among teenagers and children in the city of Beyda in Libya has been blamed on Charlie Charlie, an internet 'demon-summoning' game.
A series of alleged suicides among teenagers and children in the city of Beyda in Libya
has been blamed on an internet 'demon-summoning' game.
In a statement on Friday, the interim Ministery of Interior based in Beyda suggested Charlie Charlie, which first became famous in the Spanish-speaking world, was driving Libyan children and teenagers to 'hysteria and nightmares' exhibiting 'strange symptoms' leading to suicide.
The game involves balancing one pencil on top of another and daring a demon called Charlie to answer questions by making it point to pre-written answers on the paper.
It went viral in 2015, and has caused similar controversies and panic in the Catholic world. Hundreds of teens have since uploaded videos in which they ask, 'Charlie, Charlie, are you there?' and then flee in terror when the pencil appears to move by itself.
The Libyan interior ministry, which is reportedly dominated by Salafist-Islamist elements, said the game was a threat to Libyan national security.
Libyan health officials however disputed the claims, but confirmed eight failed suicide attempts and two suicides in the past two weeks involving youths aged ten to nineteen.
The children and teenagers reportedly commited or tried to commit suicide by hanging themselves.
||Libyan health officials however disputed the claims, but confirmed eight failed suicide attempts and two suicides in the past two weeks involving children aged ten to nineteen
The officials from the Libyan interim health ministry said the parents were not cooperating with the authorities.
But Omar al-Hijazi, local judicial official, said the Charlie Charlie game was not to blame, adding that a committee of forensic doctors, investigators and psychiatrists have been able to solve 30 percent of the cases, and would hold a press conference later to announce its findings.
Libya has been ravaged by civil war pitting forces loyal to separate governments in the east and the west since the regime of strongman Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
There are no up-to-date statistics on youth suicides in the North African nation, but experts have previously highlighted a link between conflict trauma and suicide rates in the Middle East, in countries like Iraq, Syria and Palestine.