SWEDISH PRESS ADMITS NO PROOF OF ORGAN THEFT

truth

In a surprising developement, the Swedish newspaper that published two articles this week about illegal organ theft admitted that there was no proof to their allegations.
 
This is not quite the apology that the Israeli government was looking for, but it should quiet things down and allow the rest of us to concentrate on Israel’s REAL crimes against the Palestinians…. read the second article regarding that.
 
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Newspaper admits no proof of organ theft
 
A SWEDISH newspaper admitted overnight it did not have proof for an earlier story alleging Israeli soldiers had trafficked the organs of Palestinians, which sparked a diplomatic row with Israel.

In an editorial headlined “The week the world went crazy”, Aftonbladet chief editor Jan Helin wrote that the first article on the case published last Monday “lacked” proof of any organ theft.

 

Read the rest HERE.

 

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Baseless organ theft accusations will not bring Israel to justice
By Matthew Cassel

Baseless organ theft accusations are a propaganda gift for Israel, and deflect attention from its well-documented war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (Matthew Cassel)

On Friday I was invited to appear on Press TV (Iran’s international English-language satellite channel) alongside Donald Bostrom, a Swedish journalist who authored the recent article about the Israeli army stealing the organs of young Palestinian men it had killed in 1992 during the first Palestinian intifada. I surprised the producers at Press TV who I don’t think invited me to argue the article’s legitimacy, but instead reaffirm its claims.

After the show, a producer in Tehran thanked me and told me that it was nice to get someone from the “other side.” But I had to make it clear, that I was not from the “other side” as she meant it. I support uncovering human rights violations and war crimes wherever they occur, especially in Palestine, where I have worked for many years. I do believe Bostrom’s intentions were to do much the same but that his process was highly irresponsible. The problem is not that he is accusing the State of Israel of wrongdoing, but that he is making accusations of what would amount to extremely serious war crimes while providing absolutely no evidence to support his claims. Rather than advancing the cause of Palestinian human rights, such behavior hurts the many organizations, journalists, activists and others working tirelessly to expose and document Israel’s numerous violations of international law committed against Palestinians and people of other Arab nations in recent decades.

Bostrom’s article lacks credibility for a number of reasons. In the opening paragraph he tells the story of Levy Rosenbaum, a Jewish man in New York linked to illegal trafficking in human organs with counterparts in Israel. While Rosenbaum has admitted to buying organs from destitute Israelis, until now there has been nothing outside Bostrom’s article to suggest that this trade involved the organs of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army.

Rosenbaum has also admitted to being involved in the trade for the past ten years which is well after 1992, when Bostrom claims the organ theft may have occurred in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Other than Israel being involved, there is no evidence to make a direct link between these incidents. It is poor journalism on Bostrom’s part to use a timely event and try to connect it to something that happened nearly two decades earlier without offering any evidence.

Bostrom also refers to Palestinians disappearing for days at a time and who have in many cases returned dead. This is known to have occurred before, especially Palestinians being arrested and taken to detention centers without the Israeli authorities bothering to inform the families. This is something that has been reported on and documented by numerous Palestinian human rights organizations. Israel may have even performed autopsies on the bodies without the families’ consent, as Bostrom reports. He publishes a horrific photograph of one of these bodies alongside the article, but again, this is not proof that organs in that person’s body were removed and sold, or given to Israelis in need, as the author implies.

One must also ask why this story was not covered in 1992, when Bostrom claims the organ theft occurred. It seems this would be a more appropriate time to expose such a story when bodies of those killed by Israel could have been autopsied to determine for a fact whether or not organs from those Palestinians killed by Israel were in fact removed. In the Press TV interview, Bostrom claimed that he did approach many Palestinian, Israeli and international organizations but none, minus the UN, heeded his call for further investigation. Yet, he only makes brief mention of this in the article and says the UN staff was prevented from doing anything about his findings.

Unlike Bostrom’s reporting, when most Palestinian human rights organizations or other journalists have uncovered Israeli violations, they are sure to provide well-documented evidence to prove beyond a doubt that such violations were in fact committed. Even though Israel has made it very difficult for both Palestinian and international journalists and human rights workers to practice inside the West Bank and Gaza Strip, many have risked their lives to see that evidence of Israel’s crimes is uncovered and reported.

Many such well-documented violations committed over recent decades include: willful killing of civilians, including children; torture; extrajudicial executions; depriving a civilian population of food and other necessities; blackmailing patients in need of medical care to try to turn them into informers; wanton and deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure; punitive home demolitions; and illegal use of restricted weapons against civilian targets, including white phosphorus and cluster bombs. The list of UN resolutions and international treaties violated by Israel is far too long to list here, although these violations have been carefully documented over many years by human rights organizations that have worked tirelessly for their enforcement.

I am not trying to argue here that Israel or some Israelis could never have trafficked stolen Palestinian organs. In a place like Palestine, however, where evidence of Israeli war crimes has never been difficult to find — despite Israel’s consistent efforts to block investigations — those concerned with holding Israel accountable should not level allegations of such seriousness without producing some evidence.

Following Israel’s winter invasion of Gaza — during which more than 1,500 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority civilians — several well-known international human rights groups issued reports containing irrefutable evidence of shocking crimes. Israeli soldiers who participated in the attack on Gaza have been quoted in the Israeli press talking about how they or their colleagues committed atrocities, such as shooting dead unarmed civilians, including children.

The fact that Bostrom did not offer evidence for his organ theft claims has given Israel an enormous propaganda gift. Because he offered nothing more than conjecture and hearsay, Israel has launched a major campaign casting itself as an aggrieved victim of “blood libel.” This allows Israel to distract attention from the mountains of evidence of well-documented war crimes, and even to discredit real evidence. If there is no evidence behind the organ theft claims, Israel can argue, then maybe all these other claims about crimes in Gaza are equally dubious.

Predictably, Israel and its supporters launched a ridiculous campaign not only targeting Bostrom and his newspaper, but against all of Sweden and its population of more than nine million. Some have started an online petition calling for the boycott the furniture retailer IKEA, founded in Sweden, while the Israeli interior ministry claims it will freeze the entry visas for Swedish journalists. Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding that the Swedish government declare its “condemnation” of the article. This is a strategy that Israel could not use in response to the Gaza war crimes reports. With each violation clearly documented and coming from a wide range of credible sources and testimonies, Israel could not demand that governments condemn the human rights groups and publications that disseminated them. Israel predictably objected to the reports issued about Gaza, but tried to bring as little attention to them as possible — understandably, because the reports are irrefutable.

But Israel has done all it can to draw attention and create an international crisis out of the organ theft allegation. Even the president of the Official Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden has condemned the response, saying that Israel “had blown the issue completely out of proportion.” As Israel does with increasingly little discrimination, it has claimed that the article was motivated by “anti-Semitism.” So far, Sweden has withstood Israel’s hectoring that its government must take a position on an article published in a free press. But given the record of pandering to Israel, it remains to be seen if Sweden will stick to this position. If Sweden does bow down to Israeli pressure, it would set a frightening precedent for journalists whereby Israel can affect a state’s policy of freedom for the press.

Israel’s tactics of intimidation are not justified by Bostrom’s article, which is nothing more than an example of irresponsible journalism and publishing. The editors at the Swedish daily Aftonbladet who published this piece, should’ve sent it back to the author and told him to investigate the issue further until he found evidence to corroborate his claims. If there is any basis for the organ theft allegations, diligent reporting would bring it out. As Malcolm X said, “Truth is on the side of the oppressed;” all we need is to collect the evidence to prove it.

Matthew Cassel is Assistant Editor of The Electronic Intifada. His blog is http://justimage.wordpress.com.

Source


8 Comments

  1. brian said,

    August 24, 2009 at 22:13

    what do u mean no proof of organ theft?

    More Horror – The Result Of Abu Kabir

    By IsraelNationalNews.com

    The family of IDF soldier Daniel Heller is calling it “organ theft,” joining the increasing list of bereaved families accusing the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute of taking organs from their loved ones without permission.

    The family rejected autopsy findings in Israel, prompting the distraught father to exhume his son’s body himself and leave it in his home until an independent pathologist was appointed. The autopsy’s preliminary results indicate many internal organs were taken from the soldier’s body without the family consent or knowledge.

    In this case, as in many previous cases, the family is demanding an investigation and the dismissal of chief pathologist Prof. Yehuda Hiss. Other cases also document that Hiss and his staff took organs without requesting or informing relatives. Jars containing body parts of civilians and soldiers have been found in the forensic institute, but to date, no government agency has taken any action against Hiss, not even the minimum – suspending him from duty pending an investigation.

    Abu Kabir’s official findings stated Heller committed suicide, a position that was rejected by the soldier’s parents. The bereaved parents believe the death was the result of an accidental discharge of Daniel’s weapon. On Wednesday, at noon, Heller will be laid to rest for a second time, in the Dimona cemetery.
    http://www.israelfaxx.com/webarchive/2003/07/3fax0730.html

  2. brian said,

    August 24, 2009 at 22:15

    just ask nancy schepper-hughes:

    ‘Israel/Palestine

    Israel is arguably the world’s leading procurer of vital organs from other countries, at least for its size. Just 3.5% of Israelis are registered organ donors. Their donor rate is one-fifth that of Europe so they acquire vital organs from other cultures.

    The Jewish Diaspora provides an effective platform to broker organ purchases around the world. The Israeli government helps by paying up to $80,000 each to those visiting other countries to purchase an organ. Brokers openly advertise their services on Israeli radio stations and in newspapers.183

    An American, “Jane Doe”, describes herself as a “deeply spiritual woman”. She used an Israeli broker to buy a kidney from Alberty Jose da Silva, a 37-year-old Brazilian man from a large poverty-stricken family. They met in South Africa for the surgery where Jane got one of Alberty’s kidneys. He got $6000 though was robbed of it upon returning to Brazil. South African police later closed down this organ-selling racket.184

    Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes, in her statement to the Committee on international relations, House of Representatives in the United States Congress described another racket,

    “Dr. Zaki Shapira, head of transplant services at Bellinson Medical Center near Tel Aviv…has been operating as a transplant outlaw since the early 1990s when he first used intermediaries and Arab brokers to locate kidney sellers amongst [cash]-strapped Palestinian workers in Gaza and the West Bank…Meanwhile, human rights groups in the West Bank complained to me of tissue and organs stealing of slain Palestinains by Israeli pathologists at the national Israeli legal medical institute in Tel Aviv… in the late 1990s, Shapira [Dr Zaki Shapira of Israel] simply moved his illicit practice overseas to Turkey and to countries in Eastern Europe where the considerable economic chaos of the past decade has created parallel markets in bodies for sex and bodies for kidneys.”

    “Dr. Michael Friedlander, chief nephrologist at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, tired of reports about commercialization of kidneys in Israel, decided, like Dr. Diflo, to speak out, and he says that among his recovering international transplant patients are several Israelis who have recently returned this year and last from the United States with kidneys purchased here from living donors.”

    “In March of 2001, I interviewed in Israel two men, one a young student and the other a retired civil servant, who had both returned to Jerusalem from transplant units in Baltimore and New York City, each with a brand new purchased kidney.”185, 186

    Palestinians give organs of son killed by Israeli soldiers to four Jews and two Arabs.

    Twelve-year-old Ahmed Katib was walking to a shop in the Jenin Refugee Camp on the West Bank on November 3, 2005 to buy a tie for a wedding that evening. He became involved in stone throwing at Israeli soldiers involved in a gun battle with Palestinian snipers and an Israeli soldier shot Ahmed in the head and stomach.

    His parents, Ismael and Abla agreed to donate the vital organs of the mortally injured Ahmed and he was taken to an Israeli hospital where his lungs, liver, heart and kidneys were removed.

    A Druze Arab girl got his heart, a Bedouin boy got a kidney and four Jews got his lungs, liver and the other kidney.

    The father of the four-year-old Jewish girl who got one of Ahmed’s kidneys said he wished it could have come from a Jew and not an Arab.187

    Is organ harvesting a spoil of war?

    Organ removal is government retribution against criminals and dissidents in China. Has organ harvesting from defeated enemies become a spoil of war in the Middle East?

    West Bank, 8th of February 1988

    Nineteen years old Khader Elias Tarazi, a Christian Palestinian, went shopping for groceries in the Gaza. Upon returning with two bags on his bicycle he crossed a road near a demonstration where stone throwers were fleeing Israeli Army soldiers. The soldiers grabbed Khader and beat his head and body with truncheons. Shopkeepers shouted that Khader wasn’t involved but soldiers broke one of Khader’s arms and a leg. They continued the beating then threw him onto the bonnet of their jeep handcuffing the now unconscious Khader to the front crash bar. They drove off continually braking hard whereupon he sustained further injuries including a broken back, skull injuries and his face kept banging against the bonnet.

    The Israeli doctor at the Military Prison in Gaza refused to attend Khader because of his serious injuries and inadequate paperwork. He was taken to Ansar Two prison and thrown into a prisoner tent holding thirty to forty prisoners. The other Palestinian prisoners screamed that he must be taken to hospital and the guards responded by forcing them to strip naked and stand outside in the winter cold. Khader died in the tent and later was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva and pronounced dead.

    Khader’s mother was outside the prison where Israeli officials denied they had a prisoner by his name inside. Later, they admitted he was inside but said he must have been very sick when he went out shopping because he was now dead.

    Israeli officials refused to hand over the body and it was transferred to Abu Kabeer hospital, officially for a post-mortem. Mrs Tarazi told David Yallop that during this time many of his organs were illegally removed from his body.

    No inquiry was made into the death and the Tarazi family were told if they continued to ask for an inquiry they would be looking for trouble. Five months later soldiers and secret police visited the Tarazi house at midnight, beat up Khader’s brother and father and threw the former into Ansar Three prison.188

    2nd of April, 1988

    Twenty-three year old Salim Khalef Al Shaer, of Bethlehem, joined a Saturday demonstration against the Israelis. One soldier shot him in the face from fifteen metres. To stop the Israeli soldiers taking the body for organ removal his friends rushed the body to the closest mosque and called for the family. The funeral service began immediately. When the procession came out of the mosque for its trip to the gravesite the Army was waiting. Helicopters dropped teargas canisters and large stones onto the mourners. Ninety minutes after walking out of his house Salim was buried in his grave.189

    West Bank, 30th of October, 1988

    When Roman Catholic Palestinians were leaving mass they were confronted by the Israeli Army and began throwing stones. Nineteen-year old Iyad Bishara Abu Saada was killed by a plastic bullet that cut an abdominal artery. The same grim chase for the body entailed. The mourners eluded the Israelis and Iyad was buried a few hours later. Somewhat predictably the Israelis fired teargas canisters into the family home four days later. Mrs Saada told David Yallop the practice of removing organs was common and named Arab and Israeli hospitals where she said organs were removed. She said doctors, accompanied by soldiers, offered large amounts of money to parents of the killed.190

    http://www.geocities.com/organdonate/organsellingorgantheft.html

  3. brian said,

    August 24, 2009 at 22:16

    Just ask Nancy Scheper-Hughes:

    Israel/Palestine

    Israel is arguably the world’s leading procurer of vital organs from other countries, at least for its size. Just 3.5% of Israelis are registered organ donors. Their donor rate is one-fifth that of Europe so they acquire vital organs from other cultures.

    The Jewish Diaspora provides an effective platform to broker organ purchases around the world. The Israeli government helps by paying up to $80,000 each to those visiting other countries to purchase an organ. Brokers openly advertise their services on Israeli radio stations and in newspapers.183

    An American, “Jane Doe”, describes herself as a “deeply spiritual woman”. She used an Israeli broker to buy a kidney from Alberty Jose da Silva, a 37-year-old Brazilian man from a large poverty-stricken family. They met in South Africa for the surgery where Jane got one of Alberty’s kidneys. He got $6000 though was robbed of it upon returning to Brazil. South African police later closed down this organ-selling racket.184

    Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes, in her statement to the Committee on international relations, House of Representatives in the United States Congress described another racket,

    “Dr. Zaki Shapira, head of transplant services at Bellinson Medical Center near Tel Aviv…has been operating as a transplant outlaw since the early 1990s when he first used intermediaries and Arab brokers to locate kidney sellers amongst [cash]-strapped Palestinian workers in Gaza and the West Bank…Meanwhile, human rights groups in the West Bank complained to me of tissue and organs stealing of slain Palestinains by Israeli pathologists at the national Israeli legal medical institute in Tel Aviv… in the late 1990s, Shapira [Dr Zaki Shapira of Israel] simply moved his illicit practice overseas to Turkey and to countries in Eastern Europe where the considerable economic chaos of the past decade has created parallel markets in bodies for sex and bodies for kidneys.”

    “Dr. Michael Friedlander, chief nephrologist at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, tired of reports about commercialization of kidneys in Israel, decided, like Dr. Diflo, to speak out, and he says that among his recovering international transplant patients are several Israelis who have recently returned this year and last from the United States with kidneys purchased here from living donors.”

    “In March of 2001, I interviewed in Israel two men, one a young student and the other a retired civil servant, who had both returned to Jerusalem from transplant units in Baltimore and New York City, each with a brand new purchased kidney.”185, 186

    Palestinians give organs of son killed by Israeli soldiers to four Jews and two Arabs.

    Twelve-year-old Ahmed Katib was walking to a shop in the Jenin Refugee Camp on the West Bank on November 3, 2005 to buy a tie for a wedding that evening. He became involved in stone throwing at Israeli soldiers involved in a gun battle with Palestinian snipers and an Israeli soldier shot Ahmed in the head and stomach.

    His parents, Ismael and Abla agreed to donate the vital organs of the mortally injured Ahmed and he was taken to an Israeli hospital where his lungs, liver, heart and kidneys were removed.

    A Druze Arab girl got his heart, a Bedouin boy got a kidney and four Jews got his lungs, liver and the other kidney.

    The father of the four-year-old Jewish girl who got one of Ahmed’s kidneys said he wished it could have come from a Jew and not an Arab.187

    Is organ harvesting a spoil of war?

    Organ removal is government retribution against criminals and dissidents in China. Has organ harvesting from defeated enemies become a spoil of war in the Middle East?

    West Bank, 8th of February 1988

    Nineteen years old Khader Elias Tarazi, a Christian Palestinian, went shopping for groceries in the Gaza. Upon returning with two bags on his bicycle he crossed a road near a demonstration where stone throwers were fleeing Israeli Army soldiers. The soldiers grabbed Khader and beat his head and body with truncheons. Shopkeepers shouted that Khader wasn’t involved but soldiers broke one of Khader’s arms and a leg. They continued the beating then threw him onto the bonnet of their jeep handcuffing the now unconscious Khader to the front crash bar. They drove off continually braking hard whereupon he sustained further injuries including a broken back, skull injuries and his face kept banging against the bonnet.

    The Israeli doctor at the Military Prison in Gaza refused to attend Khader because of his serious injuries and inadequate paperwork. He was taken to Ansar Two prison and thrown into a prisoner tent holding thirty to forty prisoners. The other Palestinian prisoners screamed that he must be taken to hospital and the guards responded by forcing them to strip naked and stand outside in the winter cold. Khader died in the tent and later was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva and pronounced dead.

    Khader’s mother was outside the prison where Israeli officials denied they had a prisoner by his name inside. Later, they admitted he was inside but said he must have been very sick when he went out shopping because he was now dead.

    Israeli officials refused to hand over the body and it was transferred to Abu Kabeer hospital, officially for a post-mortem. Mrs Tarazi told David Yallop that during this time many of his organs were illegally removed from his body.

    No inquiry was made into the death and the Tarazi family were told if they continued to ask for an inquiry they would be looking for trouble. Five months later soldiers and secret police visited the Tarazi house at midnight, beat up Khader’s brother and father and threw the former into Ansar Three prison.188

    2nd of April, 1988

    Twenty-three year old Salim Khalef Al Shaer, of Bethlehem, joined a Saturday demonstration against the Israelis. One soldier shot him in the face from fifteen metres. To stop the Israeli soldiers taking the body for organ removal his friends rushed the body to the closest mosque and called for the family. The funeral service began immediately. When the procession came out of the mosque for its trip to the gravesite the Army was waiting. Helicopters dropped teargas canisters and large stones onto the mourners. Ninety minutes after walking out of his house Salim was buried in his grave.189

    West Bank, 30th of October, 1988

    When Roman Catholic Palestinians were leaving mass they were confronted by the Israeli Army and began throwing stones. Nineteen-year old Iyad Bishara Abu Saada was killed by a plastic bullet that cut an abdominal artery. The same grim chase for the body entailed. The mourners eluded the Israelis and Iyad was buried a few hours later. Somewhat predictably the Israelis fired teargas canisters into the family home four days later. Mrs Saada told David Yallop the practice of removing organs was common and named Arab and Israeli hospitals where she said organs were removed. She said doctors, accompanied by soldiers, offered large amounts of money to parents of the killed.190
    http://www.geocities.com/organdonate/organsellingorgantheft.html

  4. kassandra said,

    August 25, 2009 at 07:11

    “No proof?” Did the journalists expect the relatives to check inside the body cavity and then issue a notarized statement that a kidney was missing?
    Aftonbladet wanted to send two journalists to Israel to further verify such stories, but Israel would not give them visas. There is an issue here.

  5. brian said,

    August 25, 2009 at 12:39

    yes, see no evil; transmit no evil…this is how an occupation works:in palestine as in iraq. keep away the real free press….

  6. Sherri Munnerlyn said,

    August 28, 2009 at 18:16

    Professor Hiss, the pathologist at Abu Kibar has been the subject of many investigations that alleged he was involved with illegal acts regarding corpses, including thefts of corpses, from soldiers killed in training accidents, from tourists. In 2002, he was discovered to have the skull of an Israeli soldier displayed in a glass case at Abu Kabir. Yet, he has never been criminally indicted and continues to work there today.

    http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/a-little-background-on-yehuda-hiss-abu-kabir/

    http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5762/vaera/abukabir.htm

    In an article reported today, he was desiring to perform an autopsy on a Jewish woman whose family was opposed to it. The Court held for the family in this case, finding an MRI was satisfactory, in lieu of an autopsy. MRI’s could replace autopsies, but Hiss, who it apears still makes the decisions at Israeli’s Ministry at Abu Kabir, expressed a mistrust of MRI’s, which are now regularly used in Europe in place of autopsies.

    “Zaka: This is the Solution
    Might this not mark the solution for all autopsy problems? Could not the MRI exam replace all autopsies in the future, thus obviating any clash between religious concerns and the State’s law enforcement needs? Meshi-Zahav says he has been trying for two years to institute this norm, and that last week’s precedent should give the idea a large push.

    “Prof. Hiss told me himself,” Meshi-Zahav said to Arutz-7, “that any country without an MRI machine for autopsies is crazy. However, he said that in order to make sure that it works, he first needs to compare the results of 100 MRI results with regular autopsies. One of the rabbis told him that this was absurd; must we sacrifice 100 pure Jewish corpses on the altar of his academic needs? And now, thank G-d, the Supreme Court has ruled in our favor, that an MRI alone is sufficient.””

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126758

    So, is this Abu Kabir Forensic facility a place for the Israeli government to investigate suspicious deaths or is it a facility for Professor Hiss and his staff to carry out medical experiments and organ thefts from corpses?

    Zaka: This is the Solution
    Might this not mark the solution for all autopsy problems? Could not the MRI exam replace all autopsies in the future, thus obviating any clash between religious concerns and the State’s law enforcement needs? Meshi-Zahav says he has been trying for two years to institute this norm, and that last week’s precedent should give the idea a large push.

    “Prof. Hiss told me himself,” Meshi-Zahav said to Arutz-7, “that any country without an MRI machine for autopsies is crazy. However, he said that in order to make sure that it works, he first needs to compare the results of 100 MRI results with regular autopsies. One of the rabbis told him that this was absurd; must we sacrifice 100 pure Jewish corpses on the altar of his academic needs? And now, thank G-d, the Supreme Court has ruled in our favor, that an MRI alone is sufficient.”

    Two-Year Struggle
    Meshi-Zahav

  7. Bruce said,

    February 12, 2010 at 16:43

    Now they are in Haiti stealing organs there.


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