Pakistani Human Rights Champion Asma Jahangir Dies

Pakistani Human Rights Champion Asma Jahangir Dies

We lost eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir on Sunday.

"The best tribute to her is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy", tweeted Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, adding she had met Jahangir just last week in Oxford.

"Her demise is a big loss for the marginalised communities in Pakistan, a loss for the secular people of Pakistan, and a loss for the voice of reason".

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

Outside of Pakistan, Jahangir served as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

According to reports, she had been suffering from cancer and remained under treatment for years.

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

Jahangir has represented several clients who were denied their fundamental rights and defended cases of minorities, women and children in prisons. She was hailed as a courageous crusader, awarded dozens of worldwide honors, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and described as "the gutsiest woman" in Pakistan.

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In 2007, the renowned activist was put under house arrest, when she agitated along with lawyers in response to the former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf's decision of unconstitutionally suspending Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court.

Her daughter Munizae Jahangir confirmed the news of her death.

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.

She received several awards, both national and global, for her incalculable efforts for human rights everywhere.

A decade later, long after democratic rule was restored, she was still denouncing the power of Pakistan's military and intelligence establishments and the façade of civilian control. She had served as United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion and human rights.

She was also awarded a UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officier de la Légion d'honneur by France.

Azmi remembered her friend, whom she deeply respected for her integrity and courage.

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