gpolit.com
gpolit.com April 22, 2018


Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies at 66

12 February 2018, 12:44 | Rufus Hill

Few Pakistani rights activists have achieved the credibility of JahangirMore

Few Pakistani rights activists have achieved the credibility of JahangirMore

Known for her bravery and persistence, she had fought for almost four decades in Pakistan's human rights war, defending the rights of women, children, and religious minorities. 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".

She joined core of lawyers of Supreme Court in 1982 and since then she devoted her life for human rights and supremacy of Constitution.

Jahangir also served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights.

Her early activism was forged as a young woman during the repressive military rule of Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s, when she was arrested and imprisoned for protesting against Zia's harsh "Islamization" policies and curtailment of women's rights.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai said on Twitter she was "heartbroken" at the death of the "savior of democracy and human rights", especially as the pair had just met in Britain a week ago.

Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir in June 2017.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said his party was in mourning over the death of Asma Jahangir.

In an interview with DW following her win, Jagangir described the Swedish award as recognition of all rights activists in Pakistan who work under very hard circumstances.

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif spoke about Asma's work for women and stance against dictators, saying it would be hard to fill the void left by her death.

She remained house arrest in 2007 for 9- days including other lawyers' movement leadership.

An outspoken critic of Pakistan's powerful military establishment, she was placed under house arrest in 1983 and later jailed for campaigning for the restoration of democracy. For me, this is what Asma Jahangir was: "she was courageous enough to be angry". "Asma! Rest in Power!"

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

In recognition of her services in the field of human rights, Jahangir was awarded the American Bar Association International Human Rights Award in 1992, the Martin Ennals Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1995.

Asma Jahangir was among the senior lawyers in Pakistan and she co-founded the Human Rights of Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and served as its chairperson.



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