Human rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away, country mourns

Few Pakistani rights activists have achieved the credibility of JahangirMore

Few Pakistani rights activists have achieved the credibility of JahangirMore

Leading Pakistani human rights advocate, lawyer and former United Nations special rapporteur Asma Jahangir has died of cardiac arrest, her family said Sunday.

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.

Journalist Naila Inayat, termed her death "the end to an era" while Mehreen Zahra-Malik, another journalist, tweeted: "A male friend once asked: why is Asma Jahangir always so angry?" 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. Her barbed, witty comments in hundreds of news conferences, TV interviews and more recent tweets delighted liberal fans and infuriated conservative critics.

She also pressed for legal reforms to protect the rights of bonded laborers, who often spend years trapped by debt to owners of brick quarries, textile looms or wheat fields, and she lobbied for the enforcement of widely ignored laws against child labor.

She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1987. Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy. She done her bachelors from Kinnaird College and LLB from the Punjab University (PU).

She was a wise and fearless warrior of human rights who included in her report the complaints of families regarding the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.

"It is also an award for the voiceless people and all others who have been victims of human rights abuses".

More news: Apple's pricey HomePod sounds great but exacts some trade-offs

"I will not leave", she said. She was the first woman to serve as head of the SCBA.

She leaves behind a husband, a son and two daughters. She defended minority Christians charged with blasphemy, an offense that under Pakistan's controversial law carries the death penalty.

"Asma Jahangir struggled for human rights and democracy", said Zardari. Police surrounded her office at the human rights commission, arrested her with other activists, and hustled them into vans as a crowd watched.

" 'Speaking truth to power, ' a phrase we often use, Asma Jehangir lived, practiced till her last breath", said another activist, Raza Ahmed Rumi.

She was jailed in 1983 for participating in a pro-democracy movement against then military ruler Gen. Muhammad Ziaul Haq.

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

Latest News