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Town mourns death of Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir

12 February, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Asma Jahangir

NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi have condoled the sad demise of prominent lawyer and renowned human rights icon Asma Jahangir.

She refused to leave the country despite the threats, however, and told the British newspaper the Telegraph that she would not follow other activists out of the country. A state of emergency was declared, and she was among key protest leaders placed under house arrest.

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.

The lawyer and co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan died of cardiac arrest, according to her sister.

Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed grief over death of eminent lawyer, rights activists and a highly pro-democracy dedicated fighter Ms. Asma Jahangir.

The firebrand human rights activist graduated from Kinnaird College and later pursued an LLB from Punjab University. She was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or Summary Executions and later as the UN Rapporteur of Freedom of Religion or Belief.

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.

Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwana Sunday expressed condolence over the death of famous lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir. "We are waiting for our relatives to return to Lahore", her daughter Munizae Jahangir said in a tweet. She was fully a woman in her courage and steadfastedness. She championed the rights of religious minorities - especially those who were charged under the country's blasphemy laws - and women and men killed in the name of honour.

In the early '80s, she was imprisoned for partaking in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy during the military regime of Zia ul Haq. Asma Jehangir's death is a great loss of Pakistan. She remained house arrest in 2007 for nine days. She gained worldwide acclaim for being the voice of conscience in a country where liberal, secular voices have been continuously under threat.

She had always been a very vocal critic of the human rights violations in the country, besides widely popular for taking up court cases of marginalized segments of the society.

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

"The best tribute to her", Yousafzai tweeted, "is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy".

Asma is survived by two daughters and a son.

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