Pakistan's Human Rights Champion Asma Jahangir Dies

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Expressing his grief over the demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said the incident had silenced a courageous voice for the voiceless, helpless and the oppressed people.

Jahangir was born in Lahore in January 1952.

She was not only a symbol of bravery and strength for the people of Pakistan but also an inspiration for women across the globe.

She co-founded the Pakistan Human Rights Commission and was president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Comments on Twitter, like the one below from a person apparently belonging to Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, where activists often complain of enforced disappearances and other rights violations, show how those in the country who felt oppressed viewed her. Asma Jehangir's death is a great loss of Pakistan.

"Asma Jahangir struggled for human rights and democracy", said Zardari. She was also the United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights.

While presenting her report to the Human Rights Council, she was interrupted by a furious Syrian representative who assailed her at the behest of the Iranian regime. She defended minority Christians charged with blasphemy, an offense that under Pakistan's controversial law carries the death penalty.

In 2007, she was placed under house arrest for participating in a movement to restore judges removed by then military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

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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.

President Mamnoon Husain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed grief over her demise.

Nobel prize victor Malala Yousafzai remarked: "Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir - a saviour of democracy and human rights".

Asma Jahangir won many national as well as global awards including Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 1995, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010, and various others.

Jahangir is also a recipient of the 2010 Freedom Award and 2014 Right Livelihood Award.

The people of South Asia, as well as followers of her work world-over, are mourning the sudden death of Jahangir who was recognised for her activism, particularly surrounding human rights, women's rights, and minorities rights in Pakistan.

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

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