Nine months pregnant and in chains, Haben’s* torturers beat her ruthlessly demanding a $35,000 ransom from her husband. She gave birth in shackles, beside other terrified captives, with only rusty metal to cut the umbilical cord. It’s unbelievable that this is happening in 2014!
Amazingly Haben survived — but she is one of thousands of East Africans who have been abducted by criminal trafficking rings, and tortured in Egypt’s Sinai until their desperate families pay huge ransoms for their freedom. If we can show Egypt’s leaders that this dirty secret is out and damaging the Sinai’s tourism reputation as the ‘Red Sea Riviera’, they could break the trafficking rings, and free these slaves.
Every hour these men, women and children are in captivity is an hour too long. Sign the urgent petition now and forward it to everyone. When we reach 1 million signers, Avaaz will raise a massive media storm to pressure Egypt to act:
If we can stop human smuggling in the Sinai — one of the most notorious routes for human trafficking in the world — we can strike a blow against a trade that imprisons nearly one million people a year.
And it’s possible. The Egyptian government has the power and the local resources already deployed to shut the traffickers down for good. Here are a few of the ways we could help:
- Join with elected officials from Egypt’s major donor countries to press Egypt to act;
- Run hard-hitting ads targeting Egypt’s prized tourism industry;
- Expose the names of the key traffickers in a series of national Avaaz campaigns in the region;
- Help journalists get access to torture camps to investigate which officials are complicit.
Let’s start it all with a million person movement to end this horrific trade in human suffering. Sign now and share with others:
Our community has stepped in repeatedly to help those trapped in terrible conditions. Last year, we helped rescue migrant Indian labourers trapped in Bahrain. And we’ve helped provide food and medicine to those trapped in Syria. Now let’s help liberate those being tortured in Egypt.
With hope and determination,
Ian, Nick, Ari, Bissan, Alice, Wissam, Ricken and the entire Avaaz team
*Haben is a pseudonym, but her story is real.
Egypt/Sudan: Traffickers Who Torture (Human Rights Watch)
Extortionists, smugglers preying on Eritrean refugees, report says (Globe and Mail)
Egypt/Sudan: Refugees face kidnapping for ransom, brutal treatment and human trafficking (Amnesty International)
The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond (EEPA Report)
Thousands of Eritreans ‘abducted to Sinai for ransom’ (BBC)
Egypt’s Sinai: Trafficking, torture and fear (Al Jazeera)
Human Trafficking Statistics (Polaris Project)
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