Recent events that have led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Syria at the hands of their own government are being broadcast by people trapped in the city and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Their situation is something too many people have experienced throughout history, and yet it continues to occur throughout the world as the terror rages on.
Those that have fled the city in hopes of escaping this fate are not faring well either and often meet tragic deaths as well. For years, refugees from Syria have died everyday as they brave the landscapes between their former homes and what they hope will be a new beginning. Those that survive these dangerous journeys are met with hostility, a refusal to admit them into countries, and settlement in camps with hundreds of other refugees lacking basic resources.
What’s worse is that unaccompanied children, whose parents either sent them alone to give them a better life or that died in the journey, are facing kidnapping, human trafficking, and death after they have come all this way. Many refugees, including children, are resorting to organ donation as a means to earn money because they are so impoverished and desperate. Dr. Hossein Noufel, the Director-General of Syria’s Coroner’s Office, confirmed that the past six years have been nothing but horror in Syria.
“We have accurate information that over 25,000 surgical operations have been conducted in the refugee camps of the neighboring countries and in the terrorist-controlled areas in Syria since 2011 to take out the body organs of 18,000 Syrians and sell them in the international black markets,” said Dr. Noufel.
The sometimes high prices of organs, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for a kidney, has caused some to resort to this barbaric, illegal, and dangerous donation. Those that elect themselves for the surgeries are actually the fortunate ones, since thousands of children and adults have been kidnapped from the refugee camps, had their organs forcefully removed, and then killed.
ISIS is involved in this practice as well, and it’s reported that they use organ harvesting to fund their operations. While it was reported last year that ISIS had sanctioned organ removal from captives to save a Muslim’s life in a document obtained through a U.S. raid, it goes much deeper than that. The Daily Mail stated that they were purposefully selling organs of captives and their own wounded militants as they began to struggle for money.
ISIS also allegedly forces its prisoners at a jail in Mosul to donate blood repeatedly and sometimes keeps those sentenced to death alive longer in order to pump more blood from them. Media sources told El Mondo, a Spanish daily, that medical personnel from the nearby hospitals in Mosul have seen corpses of nearly 200 people whose organs had been removed.
One victim of this exploitation of struggling refugees, who goes by Yasser, is one of the many Syrians who willingly gave their kidney in exchange for money he desperately needed. He has called the experience the worst decision he’s ever made. Living in Cairo at the time, he met with a broker and underwent some medical tests.
“I sold [my left kidney] for $3,000 to someone I knew nothing about. We met for no more than 15 minutes before we closed the deal,” he said. “I will never forgive myself for what I did.”
Yasser now has pain in his remaining kidney and has been told that if he is not careful, he could die from the aftermath of his procedure.
These atrocities are just one of the many ways in which the Syrians have been victimized, and the civilians attempting to survive their own government’s attacks at this very moment need help desperately. If you’d like to extend a helping hand, you can donate here to the White Helmets, who go into combat zones and save civilians. You can also donate here to Save the Children, who help children and families displaced by the war.
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