A member of Egypt’s parliament has called on the Ministry of Education and Communications to ban TikTok, citing fear for the safety of children.
Enas Abdel-Halim’s comments follow the serious injury of 13-year-old Ahmed Khaled, a student who fractured her neck after taking part in a challenge that went viral on the platform.
According to local media, Ahmed ran towards a group of his friends who lifted him up, then dropped him. He landed on his head and neck which caused the injuries.
Games and challenges have spread among Egyptian pupils that have led to death and serious injury.
Whilst participating in the blackout challenge a young girl was filmed holding her breath whilst other students pressed on her chest for several seconds. The young girl fainted after the challenge and was woken up by her friends.
Pressing on the chest and heart cuts off oxygen from the heart and brain and can cause fainting, suffocation and even death.
In 2018 the Blue Whale challenge, which pushed young people across Egypt to attempt suicide, went viral.
In another recent incident, also caught on camera, young school pupils are drinking energy drinks despite a warning that they are for those over the age of eighteen. Health professionals have warned that these drinks can lead to kidney failure and sudden death.
These challenges have spread around the world, causing fatalities among children.
At the end of November, a nine-year-old girl died in America after wrapping a dog lead around her neck, attaching it to the wardrobe and then hanging from it, whilst taking part in the blackout challenge.
Shortly before this, a ten-year-old Italian girl died after hanging from a towel rack at home with a dressing gown belt.
Over the past several years, Egypt has undertaken a crackdown on female TikTok users, prosecuting them on charges of “indecency” and “violating family values.”
Amnesty International has slammed the Egyptian authorities for using increasingly repressive tactics to control what content goes out online.