It was three years before Asmerom Hailesilassie, 31 years old, left Ethiopia to Puntland with his Wife and a little girl.
After spending one year working in his own restaurant in Bosaso, Puntland with his wife and daughter a night comes in December 2009 where five armed robbers try to rape his wife and kill him.
Even though Asmeroms’ neighbors testified his innocence, their testimony was not accepted. As a result Asmerom has to spend one year in prison and sentenced to death.
Tribal leaders in Puntland claimed 700,000 birr which is close to $ 40,000 to lift the punishment and they put a deadline for October 28, 2011.
While Asmerom was in prison his wife left Puntland and get back to Ethiopia with their 7 years old girl who has been severely injured by the robbers. The girl has died later because of the injury and no one knows the whereabouts of the mother now, said Asmeroms’ sister Luam Hailesillasie.
We wrote many letters to the ministry of foreign affairs asking their help to save his life but we don’t get any response Luam told Addis Admas.
In the meantime Asmerom made a phone call to his family and told them he got only ten days to stay alive. It seems that he already know that he is out of choice and made his last “good bye” for his relatives on October 18,2011.
But his family had to take the last choice, taking the case to a local news paper Reporter and it was published on October 16, 2011. There was no good news until Thursday evening. Asmerom is left with only a single day and the clock is still ticking.
Luam said “We have tried our level best to stop the unfair punishment. Nothing has been changed until Thursday night. But that night I got a phone call which tells I have to meet someone the next morning and he is going to pay the money to save the life of my brother.”
When Luam goes to the meeting place on Friday, filled with delight she came to realize that the savior was artist Tewodros Kassahun alias Tedy Afro.
“He said ‘It’s God who did this, not me’ and gave me a cheque of 700,000 Birr. I couldn’t believe that and I didn’t even know what to say. I am just grateful in the name of God and my family. I loved Tedy and now I love him so much” said Luam.
Having the money that Tedy Afro gave her, Luam is now working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to arrange the release of her brother.