Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Will Jan Helin And Aftonbladet Investigate The Story Of Hamas Trafficking In Stolen Organs?

Back in August, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet came out with the libel Israel took the bodies of Palestinian children for their organs.

In defending what passes for journalistic integrity at Aftonbladet, the editor--Jan Helin--explained why Aftonbladet published the story without proof:
Helin explained he had sent reporters to the West Bank to ask the family if it stood behind its story. "There were many rumors about the truth of the claims and we wanted to refute them," he said. "It may not prove anything factual, but the claims remain and this is why we published the story."

When asked why the paper did not verify the claims with the IDF Helin answered, "This is not a news report, but the opinion of a reporter who looked at the situation and held a debate on what he thought. Organ trafficking is a question he thought worth investigating. It may be considered a good or bad idea, but it's not anti-Semitic propaganda."
Well, Jan Helin and Aftonbladet are in luck: the accusation of stealing organs has returned to the Middle East. This time, Hamas is being accused of trafficking in stolen organs:

Approximately 250 Eritrean refugees have been held captive and tortured for the past month by Hamas in northern Sinai, human rights organization EveryOne reported.

...The humanitarian aid group reported that the refugees in question encountered Hamas operatives along the route, who promised to smuggle them into Israel for a payment of $2,000. Instead, they were placed in a detention facility on the outskirts of Rafah, an Egyptian town on the Gaza border, demanding their families in Eritrea pay a $10,000 ransom for their release.

It was further noted in the statement that eight of the immigrants were killed, and four have gone missing – allegedly being the subject of human organ harvesting and trafficking. About 100 of them were transferred to a 'concentration camp' at an unknown location, perhaps in the Palestinian territories. The captives are beaten, the women and children raped.
No doubt Helin and Aftonbladet will jump at the chance to push this story forward. After all, even though the story may not prove factual, it could be done not as a news report, but rather as an expression of the reporter's opinion.

I'm sure Hamas will understand.

Hat tip: Michael Totten

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