Pakistani Human Rights Champion Asma Jahangir Dies

Asma Jahangir dies at 66: Pakistan human rights activist fought for persecuted minorities, opposed military regime

Asma Jahangir dies at 66: Pakistan human rights activist fought for persecuted minorities, opposed military regime

Condolences poured in after demise of human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir Sunday, with people paying tribute to her services for democracy and efforts in the judiciary movement.

As per Pak media reports Asma was taken to a private hospital on Ferozepur Road after suffering a cardiac arrest where she breathed her last.

She also founded the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, was co-chair of South Asians for Human Right, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or summary executions, and later the United Nations Rapporteur of Freedom of religion or belief.

Subsequently, Jahangir went on to become the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

She has also been an outspoken critic of the Pakistan's powerful military establishment, including during her tenure as the first-ever female leader of Pakistan's top bar association.

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Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai called her a "saviour of democracy and human rights".

When she made a decision to contest the election for the Supreme Court Bar Association's president in 2009-2010, Asma faced stiff opposition from many sections of the society, including newspapers and television channels.

About the deceased, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said Jahangir would always present strong arguments over issues.

In 1983, she got overturned the verdict on flogging and imprisonment handed to a 13-year-old blind girl, whose pregnancy had been seen as proof that she had had sexual intercourse.

In 2007, she was put under house arrest by the military regime of Pervez Musharraf, another general, for her active role in Lawyers Movement for the restoration of deposed judges.

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Asma Jahangir had dedicated the whole of her life for justice and supremacy of the law.

Comments on Twitter, like the one below from a person apparently belonging to Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, where activists often complain of enforced disappearances and other rights violations, show how those in the country who felt oppressed viewed her.

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.

After obtaining LLB degree from the Punjab University in 1978, she started her career as an advocate at high and Supreme courts. Her sister, Jilani, told Pakistan's Geo News TV that her death was "not just the family's loss, but also of those who are voiceless and whose voices she raised". Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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