Pakistan's human rights icon Asma Jahangir dies aged 66
February 11 2018 05:17 PM
Asma Jahangir
Pakistani human rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Asma Jahangir


Pakistan's celebrated human rights activist and eminent lawyer Asma Jahangir died on Sunday in the eastern city of Lahore, aged 66.
Jahangir co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and received several national and international awards for defending, protecting and promoting human rights.
The Pakistani government conferred one of the country's highest civil awards on her for her struggle to uphold the rule of law and protect rights.
In 2014, she became the first Pakistani woman to win the Right Livelihood Award, also called the alternative Nobel Prize.
She defended people accused of blasphemy, stood for the rights of religious minorities and sought justice for the victims of honour killings.
Jahangir particularly spoke out against violence against women and so-called honour killings, a campaign which often put her at odds with Islamist groups.
She struggled against military dictator Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s and later against the rule of General Parvez Musharraf.
Jahangir braved torture, arrest and intimidation during the rule of Haq, a period when several rights and political activists were publicly flogged after conviction by military tribunals.
Condolences and tributes poured in on Twitter as Pakistanis reacted to the shock of Jahangir's death.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi lauded her contributions towards upholding the rule of law, democracy and safeguarding human rights.

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