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Founders

Horia Mosadiq – Founder and member of the board responsible for Donor Liaison and emergency assistance for HRDs and WHRDs .

Horia is a well-known and widely respected human rights defender from Afghanistan with more than 20 years of work experience in defending and promoting human rights and women’s human rights in Afghanistan. She has an extensive experience in dealing with cases of HRDs at risk in Afghanistan and has provided human rights and safety training for NGOs and civil society organizations around Afghanistan. In her current capacity as the Afghanistan Researcher with Amnesty International, Horia conducted in depth research and analyses of the situation of HRDs, mainly WHRDs, in Afghanistan and conducted a number of trainings and needs assessment workshops on the protection of HRDs in Afghanistan which received much appreciation from the AI partners and HRDs in Afghanistan. As a long-standing human rights defender herself Horia is well familiar with the risks, threats and challenges HRDs in Afghanistan face and with the solutions that need to be put in place. Horia has attended many high profile international forums on Afghanistan to advocate for advancement and protection of human rights of Afghan citizens and HRDs. She has extensive contacts and is well respected within the Afghan government, civil society and human rights community in Afghanistan and internationally. In addition Horia worked with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and was a Managing Director of a human rights organization in Afghanistan, the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC).

Zamarey Faqiri – Director Safety and Operational Manager of SRMO.

Zamarey has more than 15 years of working experience in the security and safety management of NGOs in Afghanistan. He held senior positions with the Afghanistan NGOs Safety Office (ANSO/ INSO) and the United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) in Afghanistan where he has been dealing on daily bases with assessing and managing threats, security and safety of NGOs and UN staff working in Afghanistan as well as of the UN properties, and conducting security trainings. He has been working in close collaboration with the Afghan government security agencies and has extensive contacts and connections within the government security authorities.

Abdul Hamid Hakimzadeh – Deputy Director and responsible for all day to day operation of the organization.

Sonya Merkova – Programme and Advocacy Manager and responsible for HRDs Hotline.

Sonya has a Masters degree in International Politics and Human Rights and more than seven years of working experience in human rights protection working with the Afghanistan and Pakistan Research team at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International. (At the moment Sonya is on sabbatical from Amnesty International.) Sonya has traveled on research missions to Pakistan and Afghanistan and conducted inquiry into attacks against HRDs and journalists and attended government lobbying meetings to advocate for protection of HRDs in both countries. She designed and delivered a number of human rights, safety and security trainings for HRDs in Pakistan and Afghanistan and has provided protection, including emergency evacuation, for journalists and HRDs and their families facing death threats in both countries. She worked on a project of setting up a protection network for assisting journalists at risk in Pakistan, in collaboration with the civil society in Pakistan. Sonya was a member of an internal Working Group on HRDs in the International Secretariat of Amnesty International and has acted as the focal point for the AI HRDs work in the Asia-Pacific programme. She is familiar with the types of threats, challenges and risks that HRDs in South Asia particularly in Afghanistan face given her close work on this region.

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