Monday, November 7, 2011

Aftonbladet Ignores Bedouin-Egyptian Organ Trafficking

Aftonbladet is infamous for running a highly sensational and totally fictional account of alleged Israeli trafficking in organs from dead Palestinians. But somehow, the investigative powers of its reporting staff have failed to detect a real and lethal organ-snatching industry which is operating in Egypt. The victims are African refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries and hoping to get to Israel.
photo credit: CNN

Accounts of organ trafficking, confirmed by a number of sources, began to hit the mass media last week. In fact the story was known over a year ago. In a report released in June 2010 by the Israeli NGO Kav Laoved an African woman refugee reported this incident:

-“the Bedouins hurt and threatened to kill [13 individuals] if their families didn't send more money. Those among them who were unable to obtain more money were killed by the Bedouins and their organs were sold.”
Workers from Kav Laoved learned of this case in March of 2010. But Aftonbladet’s staff, which was so quick to accuse Israel with no real evidence, has yet to move on this story which is full of facts and murdered victims.
The story, which is now being treated as a freshly breaking story, was reported in detail by CNN in a Freedom Project Report and other media outlets. For at least several years, African refugees fleeing to Israel who fail to pay Bedouin human traffickers in the Sinai are drugged, their kidneys, liver and other “harvestable” parts are taken, and the bodies are dumped. CNN reports that two Italian NGOs:

“presented evidence that the bodies of African refugees have been found in the Sinai desert with organs missing…refugees -- from places like Ethiopia, Eritrea or Sudan -- are enslaved and tortured and the women raped if they cannot come up with the large sums of money the Bedouin try to extort from them and their families to smuggle them into Israel.”

Evidence indicates that these organs are being purchased for the Egyptian transplant market. Italian NGO worker Hamdy Al-Azazy has graphic photos which he says were taken in a morgue in El Arish. They show the kind of incisions which would typify surgery, not autopsy. Al-Azazy describes the procedure:

"Mobile clinics using advanced technology come from a private hospital in Cairo to an area in the deserts of Mid-Sinai and conduct physicals on the Africans before they choose those suitable, then they conduct the operation."

CNN also reports that the World Health Organization has cited Egypt as hub for the illegal organs trade. Organ trafficking is second only to arms trading in profitability, followed by drugs and prostitution trafficking, all of which are also Bedouin enterprises. Organs are sold for $20,000 and up to Egyptian doctors who work directly with the Bedouins. The police claim to be aware of the organ trafficking, but ignorant regarding the identity of the perpetrators. Sources have identified the Sawarka tribe as key operators in the illegal trafficking of human parts. It is hard to believe that NGOs and reporters would have more information than the Egyptian authorities. Putting two and two together probably means that transplants are profitable business for Egypt. Either the government turns a blind eye or certain people are getting kickbacks.

No conjecture is needed to see why Aftonbladet would ignore the story—a case where there is murderous brutality on the part of Muslims who also supply weapons to Gaza is a story the staff at Aftonbladet could never stomach.

By Chanah Shapira

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