Aden* made an honest living selling water in his native Somalia. He lived with his wife, biological children, and stepson, in a region of Somalia previously controlled by Al-Shabab, a powerful Islamic fundamentalist group. This group extorted money from Aden for a long time, before attempting to recruit him to join their group. Horrified by the violence and killing of innocents perpetrated by Al-Shabab, Aden refused to join.
This refusal would come at a great cost. Aden was kidnapped, beaten, and brutally tortured by the group. He was bitten, kicked, and stabbed. He was eventually given a suicide vest to wear, fit with explosives to kill himself. After pleading and begging for his life, for the sake of his children, one member of Al-Shabab took pity on him. He was instead left to bleed out alone.
Whilst Aden was thankfully able to reach a hospital and access treatment, he needed to flee Somalia, lest Al-Shabab find him again. His family too were forced from their home after receiving threats for his whereabouts. Aden was offered refuge in the UK, but his family settled in Kenya. Having fled Somalia in a hurry, there was no documentation to prove Aden’s relationship to his family. They were to remain separated, thousands of miles apart.
Aden contacted Prisoners of Conscience, desperate to reunite with his family. Thanks to your donations, PoC was able to provide the funds needed to purchase DNA testing for Aden’s family. These DNA results confirmed their relationship. Aden now has hope that his family may join him in the UK. Without the help of our generous donors, Aden would not be this step closer to reuniting with his loving family.
*pseudonym used to protect his identity