Asma Jahangir dies at 66: Pakistan human rights activist fought for persecuted minorities, opposed military regime

Noted Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday after a cardiac arrest, media reports said.

Jahangir, who previously served as a UN Rapporteur of Freedom of religion or belief, was shifted on Saturday to a private hospital in Lahore, where she breathed her last, The News International reported.

Born in 1952, Jahangir was renowned for defending the rights of persecuted minorities in Pakistan.

File image of Asma Jahangir. Reuters

File image of Asma Jahangir. Reuters

"The eagle-eyed lawyer has championed battered wives, defended people accused of blasphemy, and sought justice for the victims of honour killings. These battles have won her admirers and enemies in great number," a 2013 Firstpost report noted.

After graduating from the University of the Punjab in 1978, she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and was its chairperson between 2005 and 2010. She was also the first woman president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Jahangir, a Ramon Magsaysay award recipient, fought against the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the pro-democracy movement. She was known as a leading critic of the Pakistani establishment,

In 2013, a US intelligence report claimed that some military officials had planned to kill her during her 2012 India visit.

Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018 15:39 PM

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