People for Sale -- CNN - - Nima Elbagir, Raja Razek, Alex Platt, Bryony Jones

Where lives are auctioned for $400

Byline: Nima Elbagir, Raja Razek, Alex Platt, Bryony Jones; 2017-11-17; CNN; 

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"Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- "Eight hundred," says the auctioneer. "900 ... 1,000 ... 1,100 ..." Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars -- the equivalent of $800.   "Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not "merchandise" at all, but two human beings.  "One of the unidentified men being sold in the grainy cell phone video obtained by CNN is Nigerian. He appears to be in his twenties and is wearing a pale shirt and sweatpants. . . . "  

Description:CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir and producer Raja Razek won a George Polk Award for Foreign Television Reporting for uncovering a hidden modern-day slave auction of African refugees in Libya. Last fall Elbagir, Razek and photojournalist Alex Platt traveled to Libya to investigate reports of migrants being sold at auctions. Carrying concealed cameras into a property outside the capital of Tripoli, Elbagir and Razek witnessed a dozen African migrants auctioned off – some for as little as $400 – in less than 10 minutes. Following CNN’s broadcast of this shocking footage, Libyan authorities launched a formal investigation into slave auctions, protests were organized in cities around the world and celebrities across the entertainment and music industries spoke out about the issue. Established in 1949 by Long Island University to commemorate George Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war, the annual George Polk Awards honor special achievement in journalism, placing a premium on investigative and enterprise reporting that gains attention and achieves results. The distinguished winners of the 69th Annual George Polk Awards will be honored at a luncheon ceremony on Friday, April 6 in New York.

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Still of a cell phone video showing an unidentified Nigerian man for sale in Libya. Photograph obtained by CNN