RE: [Stop-traffic] News/RUSSIA: Russian grandmother 'wanted to sell child for organs'

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Subject: RE: [Stop-traffic] News/RUSSIA: Russian grandmother 'wanted to sell child for organs'
From: Joshi, Aiko (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 14:45:25 EST

W.R. Grace, a big corporation in the US was indicted on charges of buying organs from executed Chinese criminals, about 3 years ago. Dateline and P.O.V. both did stories on the illicit but highly profitable business of buying and selling human organs. Granted, this story may have been a ploy only, but how are any of us to know that for sure? Is it because it is so horrifying that a grandmother would sell her grandson for his organs that some would prefer to lump all such stories under the heading "urban legend"? It is no less horrifying than hearing of a grandmother, a father, a brother, a sister, a mother, an uncle, an aunt, a cousin selling their female relative to pimps overseas for a lifetime of sexual servitude (or in the case of little boys, camel jockeys or slave labour).

Whether or not this is all true, the fact remains that children and women remain the most vulnerable of victims.

Aiko '
-----Original Message-----
From: Catherine Fitzpatrick []
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Stop-traffic] News/RUSSIA: Russian grandmother 'wanted to
sell child for organs'

Excuse me, but why is it that everyone on this list seems to have fallen for
this story? It recurs frequently in the Russian press, often planted by
nationalists or communists who hate the influence of foreigners on Russia,
and it is difficult to prove that it is true. Please note that this story
says "CNN's Steve Harrigan in Moscow says Russian police will not reveal who
the prospective buyers of the child were, or who the buyers are in other
cases. He says police say only that the buyers in this and other cases are
generally "westerners." Why can't police reveal this, when it is such a
heinous crime? That really raises questions about the story's viability.
This story, and another one circulating now about a sting operation where
policemen posed as organ buyers and set up some people ready to sell a
child, do not appear to be true, but seem to be part of an anti-Western
propaganda sweeping Russia today, which has actually only harmed children,
especially those who were halfway through the adoption process with
foreigners (many foreign adoptions have now been halted in Russia).

The notion that there is an international black market in children's organs
is a canard that one often finds in the developing press. For one, it helps
sell newspapers, and it helps ventilate a sense of hatred and envy of
America and all things Western. It also reflects a feeling of vulnerability
to outside forces; a fear of what will happen to children, a society's hope
for the future.

In Russia, you hear all the time about ambulance drivers posing as
harvestors of children's organs, abducting little children and murdering
them for their organs. It's all ridiculous. Not a single actual authentic
case has ever been found.

Let me ask the readers of the list to think just for a moment. How practical
would it be to have an international market in children's organs? Let's just
imagine, for example, the refrigeration, storage, and transport problems
that could develop after evil Westerners have purchased little Andrei's
organs in Ryazan, a backward city in the south of Russia. Let's just assume
that they harvested little Andrei's organs under the most pristine of
clinical conditions, using the latest in medical equipment (unlikely). Then,
they were able to keep these organs viable for the very, very long journey
to...where? Chicago? New York? Where they are delivered by helicopter in a
picnic cooler to the top of a hospital, just like in E.R.? Come on, people.

This story, and the visit by the UN's Special Rapporteur on the sale of
children, is a distraction. (She spent a lot of time visiting Russian
museums and didn't even see any NGOs). People really need to focus on the
authentic issue of the deplorable state of children's institutions in
Russia, the juvenile justice facilities, the orphanages, and so on, and the
fact that many parents are compelled to give up children to these
institutions as "social orphans" due to alcoholism, domestic violence, drug
abuse, and poverty. One of the main problems is the lack of law to mandate
inspections by independent experts of these facilities.

Cathy Fitzpatrick

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