Athens Macedonian News Agency’s Praktoreio magazine focuses on Thursday in human organs trafficking that thrives among refugees in Turkey.
“My name is Ahmed. I am From Syria and I live in Turkey. I would like to sell my kidney. Blood type A+….Telephone number O…”
“Μy name is Mohamed. I am selling my kidney in order to go to Europe. I live in the Province of Hatay in Turkey. Call me on my mobile 0……”
These are two out of the thousand posts in a closed group of the Facebook entitled “Online kidney sale” also written in Arabic that is updated on a daily basis from desperate people who came to the point to sell their organs.
It is a strange auction, a strange bargaining confirming that trafficking of human organs is geographically developing closer to Europe. It now reaches populations close to the Greeks (Syrian refugees) and neighbouring countries as Turkey.
The president of the Hellenic Transplant Organisation Andreas Karabinis confirmed the facts:
“The trade of organs from populations in distress that are currently in need of resources to survive is a phenomenon known in the medical world for the past twenty years. It is a form of medical tourism in Third World countries. Over the last years in some of the Mediterranean countries refugees tend to trade their organs, especially their kidneys . This is a condemnable act, a crime against humanity and no doctor in Europe and worldwide can accept this shameful reality. ”
“I had no other choice”
In the province of Hatay of Turkey after 6 years of war in Syria, poverty is visible everywhere. Three million Syrian refugees now live in Turkey, and barriers such as language, finding a job and closing of borders in Europe have created intolerable living conditions and a misery that has led thousands of people to the ultimate impasse. The uncertainty over their future makes some people to decide to sell parts of their body, a vital organ.
Umomar sold a kidney. She is 45 years old, a mother of four children and worked as a florist in Syria. Her husband died and her store was destroyed during a bomb raid in 2015.
“I know it is tragic, but I had no other choice. I know I should not have done it, and I feel bad for this. I am so angry.”
“The thing is that nobody cares about us. There are a lot of women from Syria that are alone and without any help to survive.”
Umomar shows blood tests and compatibility tests she did before the operation. Everything seems to be legal. A kidney can be sold at 100,000 euros. Umomar decided to do so that her son leaves for Germany. Her aim is when her son arrives in Germany to ask for the family’s reunion.
At Pedio tou Areos park in Athens we met the representative of the Syrians in Greece Abdul Darwis. “It is no secret that the conditions and the poverty that prevail in Turkey have led many of his compatriots in despair to the solution to sell an organ.
Abdul helped us translate advertisements written in Arabic posted on the social media. Some groups are addressed solely to Syrian refugees from Turkey.
The picture of the online kidney selling groups is frightening. All the nationalities from conflict zones are ready to sell a kidney.
The representative of the Syrian community in Greece spoke of a mysterious case of the disappearance of young children whose parents were drowned in their attempt to reach the island of Lesvos. The children were hosted in Moria hotspot and afterwards they vanished. Some linked the incident with organ trafficking but nothing was proved.
“In Greece it is impossible to carry out a transplant if the person involved is not in our lists and has not confirmed the need for transplant,” the president of the Hellenic Transplant Organisation Andreas Karabinis said. “We cannot proceed to a transplant from trafficking in Greece. It is technically impossible and morally unacceptable and of course totally illegal”.