The story began in a dusty, hot village in Eritrea , and ended in an icy wood in Halifax just a few weeks ago.That day, Habtom Kibraeb was told that his refugee claim had been denied by Immigration Canada Deportation was almost certain. Now – on Habtom’s path – from shepherd boy to young solider, from runaway to laundry worker – there was an obstacle he couldn’t face, a fate from which he saw no escape.
So in his mother tongue of Tigrinya, he wrote a letter to the people he cared about most. Then he hung himself from a tree in a Halifax neighbourhood he knew well.
His friends, his advocates, his community are struggling to piece together what happened and why.Our documentary is called Habtom’s Path.
Habtom’s Path was produced by Mary Lynk. A friend of Habtom’s, Naz Yemane, read the farewell letter and its English translation.
Habtom’s friends wanted to fulfill his wish to be cremated and buried in Canada. But his younger brother said he would kill himself if Habtom’s body was not returned to his homeland. The friends felt they had no choice. They sent Habtom’s body back to Eritrea, the country he had tried so desperately to escape.