CHINA> News Flash
HK police warn of online suicide forums
Updated: 2009-11-26 16:37

The police in Hong Kong are warning of young netizens joining groups advocating suicide on the online social networking service Facebook.

Two hundred netizens in Hong Kong have joined the group 'I want to commit suicide', the Wenhui Daily reported.

Some members tried to organize a group suicide before the Christmas holiday next month, following the example of some young people overseas.

A group of pictures showing a female member of the group attempting to kill herself at school prompted the local police to set up a special team to investigate the case, the report said.

"The police are not going to inspect online activities, but we will try to contact people who have logged onto the page. It'll be hard to track down every suicide group member, because some of them may be in other countries," said Li Jianhui, the chief police officer of Yuanlang District.

Encouraging other people to commit suicide is a penal offence and may result in a maximum penalty of 14 years, the police said.

The suicidal pages were deleted on Wednesday. The police and educational department will work to educate teenagers to respect their own lives and warn parents to keep an eye on their children, Li added.

Deng Zhenqiang, head of Yuanlang middle school presidents association, said students could turn to schools, professional agencies and parents for help when they run into trouble. "The government should set up special teams to help the troubled netizens," Deng said.

The social department in Hong Kong will allocate 840,000 Hong Kong dollars ($100,000) per year to Samaritan Suicide Prevention starting this month, the report said.