Prominent human rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away in Lahore

Asma Jahangir Asma Jahangir passes away Asma Jahangir dead Asma Jahangir news pakistan

Condolences poured in on Sunday afternoon after the sudden death of leading Pakistan human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir earlier in the day.

Born on January 27, 1952 to a progressive family in Lahore, Jahangir's path seemed set out with her father Malik Ghulam Jilani, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, opposing corruption at the fag end of Ayub Khan's rule and the brutal crackdown in then East Pakistan under Yahya Khan following the 1970 election. "It is also an award for the voiceless people and all others who have been victims of human rights abuses".

Asma became a champion democracy activist and was subsequently imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military rule of Pakistan's longest-serving President Ziaul Haq.

"Asma Jehangir's death is a loss of a strong voice for the marginalised and oppressed".

A female member of Pakistan's National Assembly, Nafisa Shah, called her the "founder of Pakistan's homegrown human rights movement, a bold, fearless voice of the downtrodden &dispossessed".

She was also suffering from cancer and remained under treatment for years.

" 'Speaking truth to power, ' a phrase we often use, Asma Jehangir lived, practiced till her last breath", said another activist, Raza Ahmed Rumi.

She braved death threats, beatings and imprisonment to win landmark human rights cases while standing up to dictators.


Jahangir's pro-democracy struggle as a lawyer and activist had made her a staunch critic of Pakistan's military, intelligence agencies and armed groups.

Akhtar called Asma "undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights".

She has received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan had become poorer with her demise.

Asma Jahangir won many national as well as global awards including Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 1995, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010, and various others.

Jahangir served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion from August 2004 to July 2010, including serving on the U.N. panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations and on a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements.

Pakistan's former foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, tweeted, "There' s no one who can match her bravery and courage".

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