November 8th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

'Death in the Desert'

The CNN documentary "Death in the Desert" showed the remarkable risks Africans were prepared to make to try to get to Israel.

A hazardous trip across Africa to Egypt where Bedouins would take them across the Sinai Desert but also hold them as bonded labor.

And if they couldn't pay, bodies have been found with organs missing and fresh scars - signs, experts say, of organ trafficking.

Now watch the documentary in full online in three parts.

Part one

Tribesman exploit battle to reach Egypt

Part two

Refugees face threat of organ trafficking

Part three


Post by:
Topics: Life In Slavery • The Traffickers • Uncategorized

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Freedom

    this is ridiculous. From smuggling to rape followed by selling and then ORGAN stealing while alive... The government is fully aware, but doing nothing? So, the CNN crew found the place where the Africans are enslaved, but the givernment can't? I am neither stupid nor dumb to believe this...the Military if fully involved in this inhumane act

    November 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Farag Hussein

      It's ok. Continue with your plans. Build up the campaign slowly slowly. you will lose God willing.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • steve

        What are you talking about?

        November 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
      • Farag Hussein

        sorry sir. meant it as a post not a reply to your comment. sorry again.

        November 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Guest

        This is a great report, basicly shows the real events on the Israeli southern borders, but it does not show who is benefiting from this illegal business, which is very obvious that the Zionist regime know about this business and tolerating it for hidden purpose or ancient reason the Zionist are very well known in the region over this behave. The Zionist popularity for centuries in using human part or adoption policy to manipulate the Jewish population around the globe, using all illegal means to accomplish their aim to slave others by all means. Years ago a Zionist firm was banned in NewJersy US for its human parts business, again this is very serious business running by them by abusing power and isolating the poor and weak so they can slave their human parts like they are turning their south borders into human parts yard. Keep up with the efforts and show the real face of the Zionist regime violations.

        February 15, 2012 at 3:59 am |
      • Adam

        Lol at "zionists"

        June 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • MeIam

      Yes, the army is fully involved and the US arms and trains the army just so you know. US foreign policy is to create such crisis and manage them and have reporters like this from CNN and talk about it feeling good about themselves. Self ego stroking. This is just sad.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
      • dumisani6

        Wow. Just, wow.

        June 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Desale

      Good job CNN reporters. This may be new to many, however, it is not for Eritrean youth as they are the victims of the bedouin and the associated Rashyda from Sudan.
      I wish CNN reporters to trace back the route to Sinai desert from its origin (shagarab refugee camp). People are constantly stolen and sold to the Egyptian criminals from sudan.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  2. hope4voiceless

    thank you to CNN for giving hope for the voiceless. Its very disheartening to see such innocent people go through such horror. its sad to see people fleeing a suppresive hostile environment at home to meet a much evil and worse
    on their road to freedom. The Egyptian government is not only doing nothing but also supporting the mass murdering of these innocent people. the excuse of smuggling and drug trafficking to kill people is just another fabrication to use bullets to kill Africans. hard to believe such evil takes place however as we have recently witnessed every evil will have its horror end.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:29 am | Reply
    • fhgh

      aw these people are homeless! and on top of that getting shot at and left to die in the desert slowly... The egyptians wont accept them but what are they going to do? Walk hundreds of miles away to civilization or another border? God bless them and God bless the man who gives these people "dignified burials"... God Bless the middle east!

      November 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  3. Rhonda

    Wow! Wow! I am stunned, appalled, and deeply saddened to find out what is happening in Egypt. I want to personally thank Pleitgen for bringing this story to the forefront. This is exactly what the world should know. Perhaps now Africans (Sudanese, Ethiopians, & Eritreans) who think about taking such risks will be better informed about the atrocities taking place in the Egyptian desert. How and why is Egypt allowed to be a member of the UN and get away with this blatant violation of human rights? Maybe now something will be done since CNN & Pleitgen shed light on a problem that simply can't be ignored. I'm inspired to help spread the word and join the fight against those who violate human rights and help spread the word to the

    November 9, 2011 at 6:41 am | Reply
  4. Rhonda

    Correction on previous post.

    I'm inspired to help spread the word and join the fight against those who violate human rights! Where do I sign up?
    It has been over an hour since I saw the broadcast and I can't get it out of my head.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:51 am | Reply
    • Niat


      I am with you on this one. I found out about this 2 days agao and I am still in shock. I have't been able to sleep or since I saw those disturbant pictures. I am so sadened by this and I am loosing hope on humanity. I also wan't so signt up and fight for human rights as well, please let me know if you want to start something on this subject.


      November 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  5. Omar

    The question is who will be responsible for this at the end of the day?

    November 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  6. Dr.Abdalmahmoud Alwali

    Iam working with organization provides services to refugees in Egypt,here in Egypt they didn,t find any protection even in police center,elso community practise disagrement inhance them with nigro,chocolate,most of them attacked in their flateroom,these happen in mubarak goverment .
    refugees try to skape from these situation to safe place (Isreal–near countery)but in border the Egyption security shoutted them not to stoped but to killed ,if they wounded they arrested in misrable condition with poor medication service,then send to court acually to prison for one year.
    now after revoulation the risk increase,the arab seina deals with them like slaves .already we have CD about these crims ,we collected these information since 2years,now we think in voice of freedom to help us to deliver these matter to peoples in world.
    the UNCHER try to helped them but ithink itis over their capcity


    November 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  7. Drew

    Oh Human being!

    November 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  8. Amr A. Nader

    as sadening as it is to see human being treated like that; yet I have seen no practical treatment of the subject the the whole scene as displayed by the CNN is provocative and only helps raising emotional rage against egypt while is not reflecting that these people has fled their countries leaving hell behind them thus these countries Sudan/Ethipia/Eriteria are to be blamed and regarding fleeing to Israel; I don't see the welcome sign on the israeli border calling refugees in for the freedom and prosperity and the situation in israel is not that appealing; also regarding the egyptian border military forces (although I am against killing innocent souls) yet if they didn't Israel is going to make all the noise possible on a weak border control from the egyptian side; last but not least most of this part reffered to towards the israelli borders is under partial control by UN forces why aren't they taking action (or are they involved ?!!)

    November 10, 2011 at 2:49 am | Reply
  9. Farag Hussein

    Dear CNN. My last post on this video. Whoever understands the following, this is for you. Someone always knows to some extent why such a project is carried out. From an Egyptian to the Coward who hides in his citadel, you will lose you son of a ........ All you're plans will fall and your veins will blow out of rage.

    November 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • GodsChild

      Farag Hussein are you delusional, project is carried out to show the world how evil and brutal your people are, dont complain when you get your turn. If you people believe in Allah then 1% from your 36 million population would have easily stop this, im sorry you guys are too busy burning Christian Orthodox churches which is another group oppressed there.

      November 12, 2011 at 3:10 am | Reply
      • Farag Hussein

        Mr. God's Child. first of all we are almost 80 million not 36. Do some effort please if you wanna discuss Egypt. Second, there is no oppression to any Christians as your media wants to make people believe and as you would gladly like to believe. And by the way, i come from a christian orthodox family from my mother's side. third, i live in Egypt and i suppose you don't so please know what your talking about. Finally, show respect when you talk so i can respect you. i am not delusional you naive follower to the jewish media.

        November 12, 2011 at 3:24 am |
      • GodsChild

        Mr. Farag i was aware of the mistake i mistyped. i have christian egyptian friends and all have told me churches do get burned, im sure you are aware. but the worst so far is what you see in this video i know for sure this is not a lie. its easy to blame jews trying to hide from this issue. The Egyptians must have forgot we are living in the 20th century.

        mr. farag, if you think this is right how would you like your kidney to be riped out for sell in the black market.

        November 12, 2011 at 4:29 am |
      • Sean

        @ Farag Hussein
        Jews are no more Christian than a Muslim is. So what does this have to do with a Jewish media? If anyone here is showing naivety it is you. Before you claim I’m biased one way or the other, I’m an Atheist.

        November 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
      • Farag Hussein

        then i have more pity for you Sean. you think an atheist is not biased? really? atheists are the most ignorant in this world my friend. Yes the Jewish media. Do you have any doubts? sorry but you need to learn a lot.

        December 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jimmy

      This kind of mass killing and slaughtering is unheard of. The Egyptian people with their government has no room for humanity. I have never seen a country that allow a group of people allows her people to slaughter other kinds of human being. The Egyptians they call us Africans and they forget they are from Africa. Reveal the truth. This is what we see. It is painful when you such graphics. This is not about killing this is about the way even they kill people. Those people for God sake they are Muslims, raping woman's what is this. You are faking. More than 3000 people perished since 2009. Those people they demand $20,000 from each refugee. Normally the smuggler charges for each refugee around $2500 but with time they tried to exploit and slaughter those people just to get kidney, or heart. Whatever the motive is those people are the worst creature of our time. It is very painful. This isn't slavery this is slaughtering.But sooner or later there will be justice and thanks CNN for the freedom project you have saved 600 lives. I know there are many good people as there are many evil people but we have responsibility when part of community involves in such dirty business to stop. This is the responsibility of the Egyptian along with their government.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  10. john

    Death to Egyptian
    They will pay a costly price one day for that!

    November 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Farag Hussein

      And to you too, Ignorant fool.

      November 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • Selam

        Farag, what about muslim do you want alittle history of islam. When Mohammed saw the persecution to which his followers were subjected to in Mecca, he told them to find safe haven in northern Ethiopia, Abyssinia, where they would "find a king there who does not wrong anyone." It was the first hijra (migration) in Islam history. Now you persecuting the same people that protected islam.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Farag Hussein

        Salem, you assume that i approve of prosecuting Ethiopians or others just because i am attacking those who are against Egypt. Second, since you mentioned Ethiopia look at what the Ethiopian government is doing now. they are picking a fight with Egypt my friend inspired by – – – – . But Egypt will not fall God willing. She may get hurt, but she will conquer. Major changes are on the horizon my friend and your will spin very soon.

        November 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
      • Noel Gonzaga

        The videos are so disturbing, and here you are replying bad to comments and feedback which I think will not help all of us and the world. Why we cant think for something to help minimize if not to totally eradicate with the issue, instead of throwing harsh words. Nobody is perfect thus if anyone give feedback, comment and opinion lets take it as a gift to motivate us find solutions. Lets us unite instead to STOP this criminal act.

        December 16, 2011 at 3:11 am |
    • leah

      This is Sad and horrific Thank you CNN i have heard about this since 208 i have been following it getting worst the ransome for one hostage was 2,000 in 2009 in 2011 it is 20,000 alot of families paid to buy back their borthers, son and sisters and it is depressing not egyp Gov,UNHCR or any other organizetion did anything about it, it is becouse those are african refugie who cares about them. i think we are all gilty for not doing nothing about it why do we pick and chose how come the atracity in this country gets our attention but not the atracity in this other country. It is becouse our motive is not pure i think we should do something about it. Thank you CNN for been the voice for the voice less.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • leah

      I am with you John but i think you should say to the death to Bedouin not egyption. the world would be better with out them

      November 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Reply
      • Farag Hussein

        well i think it is none of your or john's business what is going in Egypt. Keep to your lives and let us solve our own problems. How arrogant and cruel to say death to a whole people because some ir even many of them are bad. Really strange people.

        November 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
      • Ben

        Farag Hussein, wonder how the world would be, if Egypt had the option to do as they please. Would they be the number one organ exporter.

        November 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • Farag Hussein

        Well Mr. Ben, it wouldn't be worse than the United States.

        November 13, 2011 at 9:09 am |
      • Sean

        Egypt was once a world power. A great nation full of culture and amazing engineers. Now in the time of Islam it is just another 3rd world sand pit. Full of unwashed hillbillies worshiping a foreign god.

        November 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • Farag Hussein

        What about the Islamic empire who taught your ancestors in Spain then you became what you are now Sean? Islam had nothing to do with that or do you only make the associations when it fits your hatred?

        November 18, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  11. Karen

    The human smuggling & illegal crossing into Israel is dangerous & unnecessary. There is some demand for foreign workers in Israel. Instead of risking their lives traveling across the desert, they could apply for a work visa at an embassy & come to Israel safely. If they are in Israel illegally, it's difficult for them to find work.

    November 12, 2011 at 9:56 am | Reply
    • EritreanQueen

      Except for they can't get work visas because the government is so oppressive it does not allow for its people to leave. Many people know the dangers of traveling to distant countries, but would still rather risk it than stay in a country where they have no opportunities or future for success.

      November 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Reply
      • Sean

        Willing to risk your life does not in itself make it noble. In fact there is a strong argument the risk these people and their Mexican counter parts in the west are taking is nothing more than extreme selfishness. If they are willing to risk their lives, why not risk it on improving their home countries? Because it is easier to go to a more prosperous country and live off what they have built.

        November 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  12. Addy

    So heart breaking to hear that most of them come from the dictator countries(Eritrea, Sudan, and Ethiopia) because they seek for better lives, but it isn't what it seems once they see it in person!! Thank you CNN for showing your video to world. I hope the world can stand up and help this poor people who are only trying to work and feed their families!

    November 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  13. Roadsniper

    Hey folks, its sort of ww2 where we allow people to be murdered. But than this country is more caught up in financial murder so we are not much different. Its so sad to see so much evil exist in the lifes of so many people. When will it stop? I have two daughters that are frieghtened about all of this crap in this world . But can it be stoped? No !! The only thing that can be done about any of it is to raise our kids right. The bottom line is love, peace, & understanding this is not the 60s but this can be done. Like the protesters of today no matter how some of us dislike them they are our voice!!! Electing a new president has not cured the problem, so let the people speak , to try to make the world a better place.

    November 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      How you connected the financial issue of the U.S. to slavery, rape and murder. Shows you have no sense of perspective. Along with your “love, peace, & understanding” its clear you have taught your children irrational fear as well.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • Farag Hussein

        It's none of your business what i teach my children you ill mannered ignorant

        November 18, 2011 at 5:54 am |
  14. Leila

    I'd like to know why my comment submitted earlier today has not been posted.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  15. sonam

    Hurray to CNN..u r god in disguise.......God bless all the refugees...egypt will surely regret sooon

    November 18, 2011 at 6:36 am | Reply
    • Farag Hussein

      well sonam, we'll wait for that moment when it comes. but know one thing. someday the world will cry of what will happen to the US. a natural disaster is on its way my friend. read history and read it carefully with humbleness and you will know why the US in specific will be punished.

      December 11, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
  16. DRADRA


    November 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  17. Johnj

    Thankyou CNN!
    The fact thematter is they are Africans and no one seems to care. If they were Americans or french or British , they would send special forces to save them at once. That is the sad reality! As Eritrean-American , I want Obama to press egypt and israel to do something. Yes, send special force and kill all those blood sucking smugglers and free the refugees!!

    November 21, 2011 at 4:26 am | Reply
    • Farag Hussein

      i have a better advise for you Johnj. ask God to save you from your government. you need saving more than others, believe me.

      December 11, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • marie

        hussein, you seem to be spending a lot of time responding to all of our comments you should be spending more time getting the group of greedy racist government you call your leaders who are not actually your leaders, to do something about this instead of being offfended by the coments here, maybe if it was one of your arab brothers you wouldn't be so outraged by the comments on this blog

        December 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
      • farag hussein

        don't worry about how i spend my time Marie, and no i will not talk to our racist leaders. How should i talk to them via email? wise up please.

        January 9, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  18. Ayisha

    Salamat Frag I hope we muslims will nto in any way justify such a crimnal act. Please let the nationalist flag rest for a while and just think of the sad stories. Let us stop externalsing the bale to US , jewish they have nothing to do with this . It is all shame on the bduins and Inshiallh one day Allh will retalite for the voicelss.

    December 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • Farag Hussein

      salamat to you to Aisha, no i will not stop blaming jews nor will i stop blaming the us gov. I do not approve of any criminal acts but i find a strange campaign being made at a strange time against a specific part of Egypt (Sinai) and it is obvious what the purpose is. You do not know what they are planning my friend. there are still major things coming.

      December 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Reply
      • Noel G.

        i believed that all of us wants to help so please stop fighting with each other, instead think for something that we can contribute to help the voiceless and not to vocalized your hatred towards each other. Do you think this will help????

        December 16, 2011 at 3:22 am |
      • LoveItOrLeaveIt

        Mr. Hussein, you act as though you know things the rest of us are not privy to. I sincerely doubt that. You are probably just a 12 yo American boy sitting in his mother's basement, trolling the forums to create havoc. Yep! That's it! A 12 yo old who should be doing his homework, or go back to your video games. You're undoubtedly a troll!

        March 19, 2012 at 2:17 am |
      • Adam

        I truly feel sorry for you and your corrupted children.

        June 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  19. Natalie Law

    Farag Hussein: "well i think it is none of your or john's business what is going in Egypt. Keep to your lives and let us solve our own problems." You really are stuck in the 14th century just like your retarded religious beliefs. Give back all the US aid you receive and see how far you get!

    December 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • farag hussein

      So Natalie what happened to accepting and respecting other people's religious beliefs? Liberal hypocrites.

      January 9, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
      • Adam

        Lmao it IS backwards. Sorry to burst your ignorant bubble.

        June 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  20. Michael

    @ Farag Hussein, hemm you have enough time to respond almost each comment, i tried to get some good reasons from your responses but all are blind self defense. Please you the creature read and understand first before you vomit your vocabulary. This story is one of many immoral and inhuman untold stories of you Arabs. i am definitely sure no one can teach you moral or humanity unless you steak out of your religion philosophy.

    December 18, 2011 at 7:37 am | Reply
    • farag hussein

      yes Michael i have enough time. are you jealous? Me and many millions around the world don't intend to steak out our religious philosophy the same like you who are not wiling to steak out your irreligious philosophy. fair enough?

      January 9, 2012 at 2:16 am | Reply
  21. shina Kayode

    I watched this crime against humanity on CNN yesterday. This is absurd and strange. To me, governments have failed humanity likewise religions. The love of love has overshadowed the love of humankind. Shame on Egyptian and Israelis governments.

    December 18, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply
    • cby35

      Why shame on Israeli goverment ? We are giving them the possibility to live as humans in verry democratic country.

      December 18, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
  22. Zoltan Matrahazi

    I've no doubt some people are capable of doing anything for money – as anywhere in the world – but I find this film sensationalist, misleading and damaging. It should be pointed out the troubles are very isolated and portrayed out of proportion. I've been living with the Sinai Bedouin for 6 years, made a few books on the subject and run an information website just to show the real face of the Bedouin and Sinai. The image of the Bedouin I saw today in another CNN film ("10 of the Middle East's greatest ancient wonders", Jordan) reflects much better the true nature of these desert dwelling people. It is safe, friendly and magic place. I invite anyone to see it with their own eyes.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  23. aman

    this is not some think to discuss. this is a crime against the human being not only the victims but also the ppl who do that. ppl were born nothing in their hands and minds...but we still turn to be cruel,selfish....i wish there are some ppl watching wt we r doing and show us wt we r doing right on the sky. i am sure every person with a heart will cry his heart out. This is not a tragic event that we see and feel pity abt it. It is some thing that we have to look back and fight to stop it. AFTER ALL WE ARE HUMAN!!

    January 17, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
  24. Van Almis

    Dis is ridiculous... from smuggling 2 rape followed by selling and then ORGAN stealing while alive, de Military is fully aware and involved in dis inhumane act.. thankx 4 CNN crew

    May 20, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  25. Iyeshao Furgisonj

    Itis going to be ending of mine day, however before finish I am reading this wonderful post to improve my experience.

    July 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  26. Global House Holistic

    Monstrous, criminal and imhuman. Not to discuss. Those of you who think otherwise have no respect for other people's lives. It happens all over the world, and thanks to CNN's focus on it.
    Intercultural trade of organs happening throughout the world. Poor people are being exploited, and if we do not help the part afbverden has the worst we will never get out of this human trafficking.
    Who would care about being drugged, operated and wake up one morning and missing a kidney or a cornea? – I would.
    See these examples:

    August 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  27. yahyow

    Frist of all i have to say this unmorral action unhumanty has nothng to do with all Egyptian people how ever it has happen in Egyt by the way we know that this part of World people ar lieving in tribes so some of them has done this prutality. How ever in my view this one we saw in Egyt and i`m quit sure we Africans we ar severing somewere alse the some so wath have preparet to proteckt our self. One main thin is i bleive we don`t Love our countrys we complain about oders i thing it is Time to Complem our Self. then some Bad Things Like this should not happen to us i am verry sorry about the Family`s who send to their beloved Sons and Doughters try to feel as it happened to you or yore reletives then you wil feel the Hat in yore Heart and Soul.

    September 13, 2012 at 6:11 am | Reply
  28. yo bolingo jossy

    stop humman trafficing!!!

    September 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  29. ruwa

    time will tell when it comes GOD shears no body but ,per your deeds , lets wait and see who is who to GOD .

    December 29, 2012 at 2:06 am | Reply
  30. Candelaria

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a pleasant idea, article is good, thats why i have read
    it entirely

    October 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply

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