Folk rumours, conflicting reports and implausible conclusions are just some of the things plaguing this horrific crime.
Our world (and its denizens) will likely never have a shortage of disturbingly sick phenomena. But even so, it’s always a horrendous surprise to see one of them materialise in plain sight. Such was the case this past Tuesday morning; when the locals of Giza’s Maryoteya woke up to find three child corpses discarded on a sidewalk, wrapped in blankets, carpets and black plastic (rubbish) bags. From that point on, a continuous stream of misinformation, assumption and even conspiracy flooded Egypt’s airwaves even as we speak.
We’re not detectives, nor do we aim to crack the case. We are, however, going to do our best to catalogue all the details and titbits surrounding this particularly disgusting example of what humanity is capable of. Please note that what’s to come might be too graphic for some people, so discretion is advised.
When residents stumbled upon the three cadavers – who had been hastily thrown on a pavement besides a local villa – they (seemingly) immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was a heinous case of organ trafficking. True, Egypt has somewhat of an endemic organ trafficking issue – with African immigrants being prime targets – but what could make them all unanimously jump to organ harvesting?
We’d caught the news yesterday afternoon via a Facebook post that originally contained a video. The video starts with one of the children in focus; noticeably darker-skinned than your average Egyptian, appearing seemingly of African descent. Peering out of the rubbish bag containing the cadaver was what seemed to be organic tissue, almost akin to intestines. There was no close-up footage of any of the bodies in said video, but there were patches of blood interspersed between them. Couple that with folk fears and wives’ tales (as well as actual statistics) of forced organ harvesting, and you have yourself a widely-believed rumour.
The video is no longer available in said Facebook post.
According to the “official” autopsy report, the three children – unrelated, ages 1.5, 3 and 5.5 – weren’t found with any wounds or incisions indicative of organ harvesting. The most likely scenario, according to officials, points at a fire in which the three children were exposed to. The report didn’t say how they died, it only mentioned that their death was due to flames and resultant smoke. Hearkening back to the darker-skinned observation, the report attributes this to the fire, as if charred by intense flame.
Other, less official rumours and assumptions point at strangulation, stabbing, and possibly race-related crime. But according to the report, no signs of bladed penetration were observed. As for the blood, and within the confines of this backstory, eye-witnesses only noticed the corpses due to a large congregation of street dogs around the plastic bags, so there may be a link between both observations. This is all pure speculation, however, and so far, the official autopsy report seems to be what people mostly go by.
Eye-witnesses also said that the children’s bodies had massive suture marks down their chests as well as near their kidneys. However, unless somebody had unwrapped one of the cadavers to check, this is pure speculation as well. Reports about how the corpses wound up there are also conflicting; with one party saying that two women wearing niqabs were spotted dumping the children aside via a tuk-tuk. Others said that a pickup truck had stopped at the sidewalk in question later the night before, tossing the corpses where they were found. Till now, nobody really knows how they got there
Authorities say that they have identified the culprits behind the crime, although at this point, they’re keeping everything incognito until investigations (and accusations) have solid footing to stand on. All we can do at this point is wait.
A couple of things in need of clarification are in order; child organ trafficking is a global reality, and demand is particularly high the world over. So it’s not exactly smart to deny potential organ harvesting on the basis that they’re not adult organs. Kids need organs sometimes too. However, it doesn’t make much sense (if at all) that a – let’s say professional – ring of organ traffickers wouldn’t know how to properly dispose of a cadaver once it’s been ‘exhausted’. Tossing children’s corpses to the side in a lively section of Giza doesn’t make much sense.
Main image from Akhbarak.net