The other major issue which runs through both the explanation of Abraham’s death and the events of Thanksgiving Day 2006, is the secret of Merhawi’s homosexuality. Winta and Merhawi had been confronted about this issue by Abraham before his death and had tried to deny it, according to what Abraham told Asmerom. Given Merhawi’s very active involvement in the Eritrean Orthodox Church and the opprobrium with which homosexuality is regarded not only in the church but in the community as a whole, revealing this secret would bring disgrace to Merhawi and dishonor to the entire Mehari family. The Meharis needed to keep Merhawi’s homosexuality a secret, and the only way to ensure that was through Abraham’s death.


Asmerom’s subsequent emails with Merhawi, along with other evidence of Merhawi’s homosexuality, which Asmerom revealed to both Merhawi and Winta less than two weeks before Thanksgiving 2006, once again meant that Merhawi’s secret was not safe. And once again, the only way to keep the secret safe was to eliminate the person who had the evidence and was explicitly threatening to reveal it.