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'Dan Rather Reports' Investigates Black Market Organ Trafficking

DALLAS, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- This Tuesday's Dan Rather Reports gives you a shocking, previously unseen look into the black market for human kidneys and how shadowy criminal organizations are exploiting some of the world's most desperate people as they expand their morbid trade.


Waiting lists for kidneys from deceased donors have gotten so long that organized criminals have made good money trafficking the vital organ. We'll show you how sophisticated these "kidney mafias" have become, employing kidney "brokers" to troll dialysis centers for patients willing to drop close to $200,000 for a transplant; and networks of "kidney hunters" who recruit, coerce and sometimes force people in some of the world's poorest countries to give up a kidney - often for less than $3,000.

Most people had never heard of this black market until last summer's arrest of a Brooklyn man charged with trafficking in kidneys - the first case of its kind in the U.S.

But renowned University of California, Berkeley anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes has been chasing kidney traffickers for more than a decade - and she brought us along on this hunt, spanning three continents, to some of the world's hot spots for organ trafficking: a poor village in Moldova, where more than a dozen young men had sold their kidneys; the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, where she tried to track down the whereabouts of a rogue surgeon known as "Dr. Vulture;" and to Israel, where we filmed a violent confrontation between one alleged broker and a family member of a recipient recovering from a botched, black market transplant.

Dan Rather Reports - "Kidney Pirates" premieres on HDNet, Tuesday, January 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET.

About HDNet

HDNet ( is the independent network with unique and provocative content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.

HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including television's only HD news feature programs "HDNet World Report," and the Emmy Award winning "Dan Rather Reports," featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather. Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world. HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant - telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence.

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HDNet also delivers the world's largest and most diverse concert line-up through the HDNet Concert Series. The HDNet Concert Series features leading artists and bands including Coldplay, Gwen Stefani, John Mayer and more. HDNet also features revealing lifestyle programming featuring "Art Mann Presents," "New York Confessions," "Deadline" and "Get Out!" HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries as part of the InFocus series. "NASA on HDNet" presents all live shuttle launches through 2010.

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