Africa

Refugees endure living hell for a dream

Updated 1:15 PM ET, Wed September 19, 2012
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Eritrean refugees show the scars they say were caused by people traffickers melting plastic on their backs. Fred Pleitgen/CNN
The refugees are trying to get into Israel but the traffickers hold them captive and force them to contact relatives for ransom money. Fred Pleitgen/CNN
Sheikh Mohammed Abu Billal, who operates a safe house for captives who manage to escape the traffickers, sits with CNN's Fred Pleitgen. Fred Pleitgen/CNN
Bedouin Sheiks Mohammed Abu Billal (left) and Ibrahim al Munai have banded together to fight human traffickers who operate torture camps in the Sinai. Their efforts have lead to a significant decrease in people traffickers. Fred Pleitgen/CNN
The refugees cross the unforgiving Sinai Desert following the dream of a better life in Israel but the traffickers can turn that into a living hell. Ian Lee/CNN
One horrific case CNN was told about was Cecilia. The New Generation Foundation for Human Rights says the baby was born in the traffickers' torture camps and her head was burned to the skull by the rapist who fathered her. New Generation Foundation for Human Rights
A woman rests after reaching the Sinai safe house. This woman, unlike many held at the trafficking camps, was not raped. CNN