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Zahra Mohamed Ahmed

HRD, Founder & Legal Advisor
Somali Women Development Centre

Zahra Mohamed Ahmed is the founder and a legal adviser at Somali Women Development Centre (SWDC). Ms Ahmed defends human rights in one of the most dangerous places on earth, which is in the top of Fragile States Index, and her life and safety is constantly at risk.

The organization documents, monitors and reports on human right violations and cases of abuse that are happening in south-central regions of Somalia. SWDC also supports victims of violations through legal aid assistance as well as does advocacy and campaigning for the most marginalized groups in community.

SWDC's activists in the past were arrested by state authorities in their line of duty. Some of them receive constant death threats from unknown numbers, allegedly belonging to terrorist groups. Two of SWDC's lawyers were killed by Islamist militants during the attack on the courthouse in Mogadishu in 2013, which claimed lives of 29 people and left 60 wounded.


Somalia remains a highly insecure environment for human rights defenders (HRDs), journalists and humanitarian workers, in spite of the optimism generated by advances in the fight against Al Shabaab, an Islamist armed group that has been fighting government forces for years.


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