Church

The Stolen People of the Sinai

Forgotten:

Thousands of poor migrants from across Africa are being kidnapped by Bedouin gangs.

Refugees from sub-Saharan Africa are being kidnapped, tortured and ransomed for thousands of dollars in the Egyptian Sinai in what human rights activists say is the world’s forgotten hostage crisis. Over the past year, thousands of desperate migrants from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia have been kidnapped by Bedouin tribesmen who are taking advantage of continuing instability in Egypt to ramp up their lucrative trade.

Migrants have reported being rounded up by gang members and held in specially constructed jails where they are frequently tortured until relatives in Europe or Africa come up with thousands of dollars.

Testimony compiled by human rights groups reveals that torture with electric cables and molten plastic is routinely used against victims as they make desperate calls home to plead for cash. Many kidnap victims claim to have been raped by their abductors, and there are reports that captives who have been unable to raise funds have had organs removed for sale on the black market.

Critics have accused the international community of standing idle in the midst of a kidnapping scandal that has drawn little attention compared with Somali piracy, whose victims are often white employees of multinational corporations rather than poor Africans.

Father Mussie Zerai, an Eritrean priest based in Rome, receives regular calls to his Vatican office from the families of kidnapped migrants as they try to liaise with loved ones or kidnappers. “There are no real efforts being made to save these people,” he told The Independent. “The inertia of the [international community] is a godsend for criminals who get rich. The millionaire business around this trafficking is forcing hundreds of families into debt for amounts that they will pay for decades, in order to save the lives of their son, daughter or husband. Many sell everything, or end up in the hands of usurers”.

Most of the sub-Saharan migrants making their way to the Sinai desert are from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan – three impoverished African nations which have a history of persecuting political opponents and ethnic minorities. Most of those fleeing are hoping to reach Europe, where there are already sizeable populations from their countries.

Before the turmoil created by the Arab Spring, many migrants trekked through the Sahara to reach Libya, Algeria and Morocco in the hopes of finding work or catching a boat across the Mediterranean. Most now have no choice but to enter Europe via the Sinai and Israel, forcing them into the hands of Bedouin tribesmen who have long engaged in smuggling arms, drugs and people after years of chronic under-investment and prejudice from central government in Cairo…

According to a recent Israeli government report, an estimated 11,763 people were smuggled into Israel through the Egyptian border in 2010. Last week, the Knesset passed new legislation making it easier for the authorities to speed up deportations, leading to an outcry from human rights groups.

Doctors working for Physicians for Human Rights Israel, a charity which examines migrants on arrival, conducted interviews with 800 refugees, with 78 per cent reporting that they had been kidnapped, tortured or held for ransom at some point during their journey through the Sinai. A separate survey by the Hotline for Migrant Workers, based in Tel Aviv, found that 50 per cent of migrants had reported being raped in the Sinai, including many men…

“The situation is getting worse and worse,” added Father Zerai. “Something must be done.”

There is more here.

 

Church

Flesh Farming & Human Trafficking

This Weekly Standard story is grim, grizzly, and a byproduct of treating flesh as a commodity–something akin to using fetal “tissue” to “harvest” [as if it’s just a natural activity, there for the plucking] stem cells, and the “trafficking” of minor in the United States for the purposes of so-called sex. These were the sorts of things the Canaanites might have enjoyed. Grow a baby to “harvest” by”products.” Such issues separates Man from Monster. A kinder, gentler Hitler. We have harvested the reaping that has been sown.

Source

 

Church

Trafficking in Humans ‘Massive’ Worldwide

In The Washington Times:

Human trafficking has reached “a massive scale,” crossing international borders and involving loosely affiliated crime groups, making the prosecution of those involved difficult, according to testimony Wednesday before the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

“[I]t is not surprising that more and more organized criminal groups are engaging in human trafficking,” said Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and commission chairman, pointing out that it is the third most-profitable criminal activity in the world.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Greg Andres, a former organized-crime prosecutor in New York, said human trafficking cases involve “loosely affiliated networks of individuals” who tend to use “smuggling pipelines and money laundering conduits operated by other criminal groups.” He said, on occasion, human traffickers belong to a larger organized crime group.

The United Nations estimates that 2.4 million people worldwide are victims of traffickers…

More here.

 

Culture

She’s 10 and May Be Sold to a Brothel!

In The New York Times:

M. is an ebullient girl, age 10, who ranks near the top of her fourth-grade class and dreams of being a doctor. Yet she, like all of India, is at a turning point, and it looks as if her family may instead sell her to a brothel.

Her mother is a prostitute here in Kolkata, the city better known to the world as Calcutta. Ruchira Gupta, who runs an organization called Apne Aap that fights human trafficking, estimates that 90 percent of the daughters of Indian prostitutes end up in the sex trade as well. And M. has the extra burden that she belongs to a subcaste whose girls are often expected to become prostitutes…

If M. is sold to a brothel, she will have no defense against H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases. Decisions about using a condom are made by the customer or the brothel owner, not by the girl. In one brothel I slipped into to conduct some interviews, there was not a single condom available…

And the conclusion:

… it is surreal that these scenes are unfolding in the 21st century. The peak of the trans-Atlantic slave trade was the 1780s, when just under 80,000 slaves a year were transported from Africa to the New World.

These days, Unicef estimates that 1.8 million children a year enter the commercial sex trade. Multiply M. by 1.8 million, and you understand the need for a new abolitionist movement.

How awful. Absolutely appalling!

Read the whole piece here.