Silent death on a Syrian journey

By Mouhssine Ennaimi
TRT World (Turkey 2017), 15′ (2018 winner of the “Investigative Medium” category)


Abu Ahmed never thought his life could get any worse. But when he reached Beirut, it did. After escaping war-torn Syria, with no means to pay for food and shelter for his family, he resorted to extreme by selling one of his kidneys: with the few thousand dollars he was promised, he hoped to buy a small house in a slum and provide for his family. So did Abdullah, in exchange for a free passage to Europe: in the meantime, he is recovering from his kidney surgery in unhygienic conditions. But things didn’t go as planned. Both have been duped by remorseless organ brokers who cheated on them. This documentary, broadcast by TRT programme Off the Grid, exposes the illegal organ trafficking and how vulnerable people fall prey to criminals. One of the major challenge in the production process was to secure an interview with a human organ broker. Journalist Mouhssine Ennaimi and his staff finally managed to meet him in the middle of the night, in a neighbourhood where crime and poverty prevail. They also had to convince a first-hand witness to speak to them and to guarantee him his identity will never be disclosed.

This documentary is part of “DIG: Lockdown Tapes”, a playlist of journalistic documentaries featuring the best projects awarded by DIG Awards in the past years. The playlist is a DIG initiative for continuing its mission in defense of investigative journalism also during the quarantine. All the available movies are here.