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    Human Rights Defenders Under Siege: Violent Attack on Horn Afrik News Agency in Somalia.

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    Somali Magazine: June 16 2024 – In a shocking incident on yesterday June 15, 2024, the Horn Afrik News Agency for Human Rights (HANAHR) in Beledweyne, Somalia, fell victim to a coordinated attack. Armed men, believed to be linked to a local clan militia, stormed the HANAHR offices, causing extensive damage. The attackers vandalized the office, destroyed critical equipment, and seized sensitive documents related to ongoing human rights cases and advocacy efforts.

    During the assault, the assailants issued violent threats to staff members, warning them to abandon their human rights work or face severe consequences. This brazen attack has thrown the operations of HANAHR into disarray, forcing the organization to suspend some of its activities while they seek urgent measures to protect their personnel and secure their premises.

    The director of HANAHR Zainab A. F. expressed deep concern over the incident, revealing that the ongoing threats have left her and her predominantly female staff in a state of fear for their safety and well-being.

    The authorities have not yet commented on the recent attacks on HANAHR’s offices and staff.

    Zakarie Y. Abdirahman, program manager of the Coalition of Somalia Human Rights Defenders (CSHRDS), of which HANAHR is a prominent member, has raised concerns about recent attacks on HANAHR offices in Beledweyne, Somalia. He highlighted the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in the country, particularly for women human rights defenders (WHRDs), and called on Somali authorities to enhance their protection.

    Abdirahman also emphasized the need for increased international support and solidarity for Somali human rights defenders, who face persecution and extreme risks in their work.

    HANAHR, a prominent human rights-focused news agency in the region, now faces unprecedented challenges as it grapples with ensuring the security of its dedicated team and continuing its vital work amidst escalating threats.

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