Thursday, November 17, 2011

Refugees Freed Following Broadcast Of CNN Freedom Project Documentary

CNN International reports that hundreds of African refugees have been released from captivity following the network's screening of the CNN Freedom Project documentary, 'Death In The Desert', in which CNN Correspondent Fred Pleitgen revealed the appalling conditions faced by migrants crossing into Israel from Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula.

The report, "Death in the Desert," which was first broadcast on CNN International on November 5, showed evidence that African refugees, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, were being held captive by Bedouin human traffickers in Sinai, who try to extort massive sums of money from the refugees’ families for their release.

While in captivity the refugees are enslaved, many of the women raped and some even killed. The CNN crew even found evidence that some victims had organs extracted, a practice known as organ harvesting, and were later found dead in the desert.

Shortly after the documentary aired, more than 600 African refugees were released in Sinai, says Hamdi al Azzazy, an activist for the New Generation Foundation for Human Rights who has worked for years in the region, fighting to improve the plight of the African refugees.

His account was backed up by a press release from the EveryOne Group, an Italian non-governmental organization, which has also been raising public awareness about the refugees.

'Death In The Desert' will re-air across CNN International this weekend. You can find schedule times here or you watch the documentary on demand at Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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