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From University victory to becoming a human trafficking Victim

Gedion Samuel Hariso was born on August 17, 1995, in Hawssa, located in the Great Rift Valley of central Ethiopia. He was the eldest of 5 siblings. His mother worked as a teacher, and his father was a bus driver, providing for their family.

Gedion attended an Evangelical high school in Hawssa until 2016. In 2017, he enrolled at Adigrat University, Ethiopia. Tragedy struck the following year when his father passed away, causing significant changes in Gedion's life. Despite this, he continued his studies and graduated in 2021 with a degree in Architecture from BA school.

After graduation, Gedion moved to Addis Ababa and found a job at a small architectural firm that offered a meager income. On February 17, 2023, his 19-year-old younger brother tragically took his own life after failing university entrance exams. To support his grieving family, Gedion had to use his modest savings for the funeral expenses and other necessities. This family crisis left him burdened with house loans and facing numerous challenges in an already impoverished country, grappling with the impacts of the Tigrinya war.

On February 6 of this year, Gedion left Ethiopia, and the details of his journey have not been shared with his family.

On February 28, 2024, presumably in Libya, his mother received a distressing midnight call from the kidnappers informing her that he was being held captive by for a wild $15,000 ransom.

Each passing day, the kidnappers sent videos of Gedion being tortured and threatened to escalate their actions if the ransom was not paid. On March 6, Gedion's mother, Genet Tilahun, aged 60, approached the Ethiopian Federal Police to report her son's kidnapping. However, she was informed that due to the absence of a functioning government in Libya, their hands were tied, and the could only be flagged to Interpol.

Despite efforts, the ransom amount remained far from being collected. Genet sought help from relatives, to no avail, and then turned to online well-wishers who have generously raised $2,000. However, the sum falls short of what the kidnappers demanded.

Genet now finds herself in a desperate struggle to secure her son's release from the clutches of human traffickers, who claim to have sold him to Bani Walid, a notorious hub for human trafficking activities.


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