Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney

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Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney

Post by DJKeefy » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:50 pm

Organ trafficking in Egypt: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney.

Wearing a baseball hat and smoking a shisha pipe in a cafe in Cairo, Dawitt tells me he is 19, but looks years younger. He explains that he escaped Eritrea aged 13 to avoid forced, indefinite conscription into military service.

His family helped him pay smugglers to travel via Sudan to Egypt. Struggling with debt and desperate to make the sea crossing to Europe, he looked in vain for regular work. Then he met a Sudanese man who suggested a “safe and easy way” to raise the cash – selling a kidney.

“I thought it would be a good way of getting money fast and travelling to Europe,” says Dawitt. “I was worried, but he convinced me that it is a very easy operation and you can live a normal life with one kidney. It was a lot of money. How [could] I say no to $5,000 when I have nothing and my family need help?”

Dawitt was given blood and urine tests, then taken for surgery.

“We drove all night to get to the hospital. I remember walking downstairs and waiting to speak with the doctor. Then I entered a room where I was asked to change my clothes and lie down on the bed. All I remember after that was waking up and feeling a sharp pain in my side. I started shouting and cursing until the broker came to take me back to the apartment.”

Dawitt’s story is more common than statistics suggest. According to a 2018 report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has collected data on 700 incidents of organ trafficking, primarily from north Africa and the Middle East. Yet these figures are conservative, at best. The true scale of the industry is difficult to assess, as the majority of cases go unreported, with victims reluctant to come forward for fear of deportation, arrest or shame.

The trade appears to be flourishing in Egypt, bolstered by an EU-funded clampdown on refugees by security forces. There, the hostile environment created by the arbitrary detention of migrants, and the hike in smugglers’ fees, is creating a perfect opportunity for unscrupulous organ brokers who prey on those desperate to raise funds to cross the Mediterranean.

After surgery, Dawitt was taken by his broker, Ali, to an apartment in the Mohandessin district of Giza to convalesce. He was introduced to an Eritrean, Isaac, who promised to bring him to Damietta, where a fishing boat would take him to Sicily. The broker encouraged Dawitt to accept his offer, claiming he would use the money he owed Dawitt for his passage.

“I felt very comfortable with [Isaac] after talking. He was Eritrean, and he didn’t look like a thief. He told me that he smuggles hundreds of people every month and that he doesn’t need the money. He made me feel like he was the one doing me the favour. He gave me his number and told me to call him when I was ready.”

Dawitt says he spent a further two weeks at the apartment recovering from the surgery. Feeling his strength return, he called Isaac to confirm travel arrangements. But the phone line was inactive, and Ali was nowhere to be found. Dawitt is convinced that Ali used the money to make his own way to Europe. When he reported the incident to the police he was threatened with deportation.

Anecdotal evidence suggests organ brokers are increasingly approaching migrants with the offer of a passage to Europe in exchange for donating an organ. The irony is that the trade is being driven by the broad EU policy to “externalise borders” by increasing the capacity of African states such as Libya, Egypt and Sudan to manage migration, given a boost by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

Figures released by the European Commission in 2018 indicate that fewer people are now escaping to Europe via the north Egyptian coast. Yet while the number of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees crossing Egypt’s central Mediterranean route has decreased, the de facto closing of borders has pushed people to further extremes, increasing the hold of criminal networks. Intent on leaving Egypt by any means, migrants are being targeted for organ sale.

On a street near Tahrir Square, Ibrahim waits outside a cafe. He waves me over, gesturing to a chair. His role, he says, is to recruit migrants as part of a smuggling network operating along the north Egyptian coast.

“People come to me to organise their transport and to make the payment,” he says. “I confirm the payment with the boss, and then I bring people from Cairo to Alexandria. They stay in warehouses on chicken farms and wait there until the time is ready to go to sea.”

In response to a government crackdown, smugglers operating out of Egypt and Libya have raised fees from $1,500 to $3,500 (£1,160 to £2,710) to maintain profits. Unable to finance travel, people smugglers are referring migrants to organ brokers in Cairo to raise the necessary capital.

“People can pay less than the asking price [of $3,500] but if you do this, you’re like a third-class passenger,” he advises. “These ones can end up in detention centres where they will only be released if they agree to work or sell their bodies for sex.”

Ibrahim shifts in his seat uncomfortably, reaching for a cigarette. He inhales slowly, taking his time to consider what he wants to say next.

“There are some people who only care about getting the money. They don’t care if you arrive at your destination or end up dying at sea. This is why I advise people to make the payment in advance, even if that means selling a kidney.”

Ibrahim draws my attention to bullet holes over the door frame, a relic of the revolution when shots were fired at protesters during demonstrations on 25 January 2011. He knows that what he is doing is illegal but suggests the government is at fault. “I do not see my work as bad because I am helping people change their life for the better.”

A law banning organ sales was introduced in 2010 but has pushed the trade further underground. Asha, from Sudan, explains how she was recruited in Khartoum and taken to Cairo. “They said they would find me work and then they would take me to Italy. I did not trust these men, but it was impossible for me to stay in Khartoum. My children were sick from not eating. So, I listened to them.”

When she arrived in Cairo, Asha was told that she would not be going to Europe. Instead she would be “donating” her kidney. She was promised $2,000 if she complied. If not, the men said, they would take her kidney by force. Asha was taken by taxi to a nondescript apartment in Alexandria.

“I know it was Alexandria because I could see the ocean from the taxi. Then I was in a room with medical equipment, but this is all I can tell you. They locked me in the room and told me to think of my children.”

After surgery, Asha reported one of the brokers to the police. He was arrested and held for 30 days, then released without charge. In July 2018, a statement from the Egyptian Health Ministry announced that 37 people had been found guilty by an Egyptian court on charges related to illicit trading in human organs. There was no mention of the victims.

A spokesman from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Egyptian authorities continue to vigilantly pursue, investigate and bring to justice any such crimes of organ trade in accordance with the stringent provisions of the criminal law. Furthermore, this hideous illegal trade has never been condoned by the Egyptian government and law enforcement authorities. We will continue to combat such crimes and bring those engaged in the organ trade to justice, while protecting Egyptian citizens as well as our host refugee and migrant community.”

Asha lives in fear for her life, subjected to threats and intimidation by the broker and his associates. She says she was told that if she did not withdraw her statement, her children would bear the consequences.

“I am worried about what will happen to my children. I am worried they will come for their organs too.”

* Names have been changed

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-deve ... s-migrants


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Re: Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney

Post by Who2 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:34 pm

This is an old pal Roy sadly passed on, I was talking to him once,
he said 'when he was in Broadmoor "they took a piece of my brain"
Roy was a fighter bare knuckle big coke user, I don't think he had much brain to take.
Mind you he was a millionaire, 'when a pound in your pocket was worth a pound!.... H Wilson Esq.... 8)
15313
Ps: He's over 60 in that picture..& would eat beer glasses.. a Dr says: 'Roy wasn't totally stable, well Who would be ?
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.

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Re: Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney

Post by Hafiz » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:25 pm

Refugees, Arab Mafia in Sinai, Organ Theft.

An article from 2011 by a reputable organization tells a story of rape, murder, organ theft and lots of money involved in the trafficking of refugees by Islamic groups in Sinai. I knew things were bad in Sinai but had no idea that refugees/trafficking was such a big part of this barbaric behavior.http://www.everyonegroup.com/EveryOne/M ... Egypt.html

A similar but earlier analysis of how things were completely out of control from the prestigious Jamestown University. https://jamestown.org/program/trafficki ... i-bedouin/

Its not just Siani and ISIS as the examples below will show. That the problems have been around for nearly a decade and not fixed should surprise no one.

If these stories are true it implies decades of laziness, stupidity or corruption by the police/army – maybe all three. What it does confirm is what is happening in many other places – the blending of organized crime, refugees, sexual slavery, running drugs and violence. The problem for us is that there are genuine refugees but its now very hard to work out who or to be confident that a refugee will do criminal acts to repay their debt to people runners. In any event in a place like Egypt which treats refugees with contempt refugees are easily exploited or intimidated and a prime source of prostitution.

In 2018 there seems, its unclear, there has been a roundup of people involved in human trafficking including government officials in locations which are deliberately not clear. This and other choreographed round ups, if they actually happened, feed Egypt’s cash machine because at the moment Sisi’s big sales pitch to the EU is that that he is holding back millions of refugees heading for Europe. This is rot because the immediate source of refugees for more than 7 years has been via Libya or, some time ago via Turkey (now staunched) but believed in Brussels, the source of aid and cracking down in trivial cases is part of the political/PR pantomime. It also saves hard work. http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/393 ... rafficking

Of course it goes the other way with refugees seeking asylum in Egypt. The Imperial President of Egypt told the G-20 meeting of world leaders there are 5 million refugees in Egypt, his Minister told the European Parliament it was 6 million (such round numbers). The problem is that the expert, the UNHCR, says it’s a bit north of 250,000. Who do you think is telling lies to get more EU and UN money? https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-d ... -in-egypt/
If you are going to tell a lie make it plausible but no wonder no one believes a word they say and laughs at them. The World Bank that pays Egypt’s refugee bills says its 213,000. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SM ... G?view=map

The dark side of this blending of refugees and crimes isn’t easy to tell and the Cairo press does only what it has always done – follow the instructions of Military Security that lies are truth and truth lies. Nevertheless there have been people smuggling/refugees/economic migrants via Sinai. A recent and scholarly article on the broader issue of smuggling in Sinai and on the Libyan border which in recent years has included people trafficking. https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/defa ... Husken.pdf

The existence of organized crime within Egypt involving sex, drugs and related matters gets no attention but in 1986 was always thought to involve the police at senior levels. Its an unclear area, there is no research, there were no charges nor a free press to print the truth so the jury is out. https://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com ... ithin.html. A highly reputable magazine states drug connections at the top of Mubarak’s regime in the 1986 police rebellion. https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/23/lo ... he-police/. The point of this is that whatever exists in Sinai there has been a form of organized crime in Cairo either in the police or groups attached to them dating back decades. If you have organized crime then they look for profit and at the moment the big money is in the refugee/economic migrant area.

Police involvement in illegal matters is suspected but hard to prove and a probable example is that the police murder of tat kid in Alex. in 2010, which drove the 2011 uprising, was connected with his filming of police (possibly his murderers) dividing up the seized drugs from their drug bust. http://www.merip.org/mer/mer258/praxis- ... revolution. On this view which can't be proved he was killed because he caught them at it. Any person with experience of Egypt would not be surprised. There are lots of anecdotes but an unclear big picture.

Related stories by al Haareetz (very recent) and the US based Coalition for Organ Failure Solutions (2011 study) describe in detail the organ theft industry in Cairo which is based on the violent non-consensual taking of organs, usual kidneys, which leaves the ‘donors’ in very poor states of health. Egypt is considered the 5th worst place on earth for this illegal practice and it appears highly organized, gang related, has the co-operation of Cairo doctors, involves follow up visits to the ‘donors’ to threaten then to not report the violence/theft and probably targets exclusively refugees, most often Sudanese, who have little confidence in reporting to the Egyptian police/courts. The story is barely believable, but well documented and been going for a long time.

There are specific examples of the police, doctors and UN workers telling the victims to ‘say nothing’. In particular cases organs were taken by doctors without permission under the subterfuge of other normal medical treatments or organs taken by doctors as part of an organized commercial arrangement but the payment to the donor not made.

It seems clear that particular refugees are involved in ‘managing’ criminal exploitation of fellow refugees which is standard practice in many respects in refugee populations around the world. Whether Sudanese are involved in the general trafficking of Sudanese/refugee movements for profit is not clear but examples from other parts of the world with other peoples suggests they probably are.

A particular recent example;
“Nida, …worked as a cleaner in a private home. One day, the wife, who oversaw her work, wasn’t there. She found herself alone in the house with the husband. He brought in medical equipment and set up an operating table in the living room. When Nida grasped what was happening, the husband tried to grab her and inject her with an anaesthetic. She fought and managed to release herself from his grip and escape.
“I ran immediately to the nearest police station and gave them the address of the house and the man’s name,” Nida recalls. “They arrested him – and let him go the same day. My employer in the cleaning company called after the incident and threatened me. He said the man I complained against has connections and that he could do whatever he wanted to me.”
There is hard evidence including court testimony that many/most of the recipients are medical tourists – an industry the Supreme Touristes have recently been pushing and have got deranged westerners like a UK fool to market it on Youtube and to participate in the treatment themselves. There is never a shortage of fools only of the other type. So if you are ‘looking’ for an organ you need first to ask for documentary evidence where it came from following which you need to have an independent lawyer check the evidence following which you should still have doubts. Upscale Maadi hospitals are involved according to court evidence so, as usual, a good Cairo address usually means bad things. Specialist doctors are involved in ‘recruitment’ which should surprise few. Payments to ‘donors’ are cited are trivial so a few are making a lot of money – probably including the police.

The 2018 Haaretz article https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/ ... =firefox-b

The 2011 US report on Sudanese in Cairo. http://cofs.org/home/wp-content/uploads ... -20124.pdf

A Feb 2018 news report that the Egyptian Ministry of Health will establish the largest organ transplant centre in the Middle East http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/425 ... d-in-Egypt like a fake diamond in a pig sty. A bizarre paradox.

An Aug 2017 Egypt (Tosser)Today report that State (un)Intelligence absolutely denies organized organ theft even though there were numerous press reports, including in the same ‘organ’, of arrests and convictions for such. http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/154 ... s-in-Egypt. As usual in Egypt the left hand right hand problem and this employee of an oxymoron can’t even check what the newspaper has reported in the past.

A recent study of Cairo from an academic of the University of Liverpool – who should probably have been ‘dealt’ with a la Regeni. https://academic.oup.com/bjc/article/57/6/1301/2623947

The UN reports on this from the WHO, UNDP and UNHCR – None. The UNHCR report on Egypt, finished 8 months ago, contains no reference to trafficking of organs but a deal of their co-operation with Bibliotheca Alexandria, sports days and other sentimental rot. They mustn’t have read the Egypt Today reports on things they say don’t exist. Their work location is behind razor wire and machine gun emplacements in 6th October. They also have an office in Zamalek. Given there were complaints in the media about their staff participating in organ thefts/deterring victims from reporting this you would think they had done an investigation. They haven’t and like all other UN agencies, have no formal complaints system for aggrieved clients. Probably a good idea unless the UN is prepared to employ100,000 staff to investigate the complaints. If it isn't in the UNHCR report it doesn't exist and all other scholars/journalists/human rights workers are dirty liars.

Their country head Atassi (no CV available) is probably from a middle/upper class Lebanese background, probably previously worked in Egypt and later as deputy head in Turkey. It’s a deal racist and stereotyping but if I had something hard to do in a complex and difficult country I wouldn’t immediately think of a Lebanese least of all a Lebanese man but the UN is full of odd and non-merit based staff and I know several who now work for the highest moral institutions in the world that I was glad to see the back of them at the time and regret nothing.

Afterword. There are of course organs missing from recent dead UK tourists but their bodies were examined by leading Egyptian government pathologists so nothing bad could possibly have happened. In fact I think the chief Pathologist (no pun intended) said the UK Pathologists were wrong to state that organs were missing but correct me if I’m wrong on that fiasco of a sad story – I gave up trying to make sense of it except the Egyptian eternal objective – we are perfect and blame someone, anyone, else. EgyptAir is ‘perfect’ at this delusional trick.

Don’t fall asleep on the beach.

There is an historical paradox in all this. Pasha Russell ran the Cairo police in the ’20’s to ‘46. He was an unusual and superbly educated colonial administrator with strong positive feelings towards Egyptians and their desire to be free. He was very good at his job and in particular he identified the growing international heroin and cocaine trade as a threat, was the major international voice on this matter, an aggressive, early but unsuccessful campaigner for treatment programs and led early League of Nations action on this matter. A remarkable man with stature in the world who treated his staff well, did his job and suppressed drugs in Egypt. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and ... ge008.html and http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =firefox-b

He also wrote the excellent Egyptian Service available free on the Internet Archive but of little interest to those who prefer the elegant ramblings of British aristocrats who were interested in little more than themselves, entertainments and the occasional ‘stone things’. https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dl ... 89/page/n1

Russell also wanted to control and suppress the prostitution in Cairo which included many white women, awful treatment of women, lots of tourists using the women and widespread use of prostitutes by middle class Cairenes. A deal of it involved slavery/human trafficking. An interesting and ugly Phd (in terms of subject matter) on this from the LSE. http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/486/2/final%25 ... 5B1%5D.pdf. Easy to see why Montgomery found his army syphilitic during WW2 and got the first doses of penicillin in the world to mobilize them into battle.

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Re: Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney

Post by Dusak » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:45 am

Unfortunately if your life depends on a kidney transplant, and you have the money, but lack scruples, your not going to question where or how the organ was supplied. its a ready made market for the money makers that live without morals nor interest in the welfare of others especially when thousands of vulnerable refugees are desperate for money themselves and believe that they will be paid.There seems to be many hypocrite Hippocratic oath holders that put money before ethics in this country.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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