Tuesday Feb 11, 2020
Pakistanis paid tribute to lawyer and eminent human rights activist Asma Jahangir on her second death anniversary on Tuesday.
Asma Jahangir was a recipient of the UN Human Rights Prize 2018 and also bagged several national and international awards, including Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1995, the American Bar Association International Human Rights Award in 1992, the Martin Ennals Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1995, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2005, 1995 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights.
In 1987, she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and became its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as the commission's chairperson. She spent her career defending women’s rights, rights of religious minorities and children in Pakistan.
Born and raised in Lahore, Jahangir studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary before receiving her B.A. from Kinnaird College for Women and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978. Jahangir also served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions from 1998 to 2004, and as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief from 2004 to 2010.
She also received the 2014 Right Livelihood Award and the 2010 Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee. She was known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit of human rights and remaining undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition.
Jahangir breathed her last on February 11, 2018, in Lahore at the age of 66 due to cardiac arrest.