join the movement to #freeliyah!

Aylaliya “Liyah” Birru, an Ethiopian immigrant survivor of domestic violence, is facing deportation for defending herself against her abusive ex-husband.

Like Marissa Alexander, Cherelle Baldwin, and so many other Black women who dare to defend themselves, Liyah is being punished for protecting herself against the severe violence of a man who said no one would believe her if she ever dared to ask for help. We are here to say that we not only believe Liyah, but will fight for her freedom, dignity, and right to safety from domestic violence.

Join us in fighting for Liyah’s release today!

liyah’s letter to supporters

April 26, 2020

My deepest gratitude to all of you my supporters who are standing by me in these trying times. I am forever grateful for the kind and encouraging words that you send me unfailingly. When you tell me you’re sending me light, truly you bright up my days. When you send me love, I feel your compassion and it warms my heart. Some of you are from the US and some of you from many parts of the world. Still, I feel as if you are all right next to me, holding me up and giving me the strength I need.

Many of you have supported my campaign to get me freed through social media and personal ventures, holding rallies and hosting events to speak about my story. Many of you also are pushing and rooting for me by signing my petition to Governor Newsom to grant me a pardon and stop my deportation. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out of your busy schedule to send personal letters and emails and making calls to Governor Newsom to take action on my case.

In such time and place, when and where I am too limited to speak for myself, you have been advocating for me persistently and being my voice from out there. I am thankful for your unfailing love, support, and prayers. Your reminder that I can do this, that I am capable of so much, and believing in me are what sustain me and keep me going even when I don’t believe I have anymore strength left in me.

I can go on and on and still words fail me to express exactly how I feel about each and every one of you. For now, I want you all to know that you make my days bearable and fill me with hope to keep on fighting. Some of you have become my good friends and family forever. You are my blessings that found me in the midst of my trials. It may not sound feasible and yet I do hope I’d get to meet each and every one of you someday soon and express my gratitude personally. Those of you whom I have been fortunate enough to meet and got to know, I love you, I thank you, and I cannot wait to see you again (out there). I hopefully and excitedly look forward to fighting the good fight alongside you for many others in similar circumstances.

With Love and Respect,
Aylaliya Assefa Birru