Asma Jahangir Passes away
Asma Jilani Jahangir was a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). She was widely known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers’ Movement and served as the trustee at the International Crisis Group. Born and raised in Lahore, she attended the Punjab University and finished her LLB in the year 1978. She also held the honor of being the first female President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) from November 1st 2010 to October 31st 2011. She was also appointed the United Nations Rapporteur position for Human Rights in Iran on 30th September in 2016 and held it till she died.
Jahangir fought for injustice and restoring democracy in Pakistan, as well as human rights, women’s rights and minorities’ rights. Her strong efforts even got her arrested such as when she was imprisoned in 1983 for taking part in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy when General Zia ul Haq was in office. She also got put under house arrest in 2007 for being part of the Lawyers Movement.
Her whole life was spent working for the rights of others and helping make Pakistan a better place. She was recognized for her efforts when she received the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France, UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, Freedom Award of 2010, Right Livelihood Award of 2014 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award. With her death, Pakistan has not only lost its “Iron Lady” but one of the only few who stood up not only for herself but for others as well.