Syrian refugees as young as 14 are surviving in Lebanon by illegally selling their own organs to trafficking gangs, Spiegel Online reported
Lebanon has a history of black-market organ trading. The country has long played host to large numbers of refugees — first Palestinians and more recently Syrians — who desperately need money to survive. Many wealthy Arabs from around the region come to Lebanon for treatment in its hospitals before returning home, and there is virtually no government policing of the organ trade business.
These are ideal conditions for organ trafficking, says Luc Noel, a transplant expert at the World Health Organization.
A Spiegel reporter talked to a Beirut man known as Abu Hussein, who works for a gang in the human-organ trade specializing in kidneys, and to Raid, a 19-year-old Syrian refugee who sold one to the trafficker for $7,000.
“When it comes to kidneys, we now have far more sellers than buyers,” said Abu Hussein.
Hussein said everyone benefits from the organ trade, with the Syrian refugees getting up to $15,000 for a new kidney and the sick getting a chance at life. He gets $600 to $700 for each sale he arranges.
Although Abu Hussein boasted about how his gang took care of the Syrian refugees, the trafficker could be heard lashing out at Raid as he begged for painkillers minutes later: “Shut up. I don’t care if you die. You’re finished anyway.”
Citing U.N. estimates, the Beirut Daily Star
recently reported that Lebanon hosts more than 750,000 Syrian refugees.
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