First SCBA woman president Asma Jahangir dies in Lahore

  • Her funeral prayer will be offered on February 13
Pakistan

LAHORE – Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday after suffering from a brain hemorrhage in Lahore.

Asma was taken to a private hospital on Ferozepur Road on Saturday night where she passed away today, her spokesperson told the media.

Her funeral prayer will be offered on February 13 Lahore’s Gaddafi Sta­di­um at 2pm, a family source said.

Jahangir, 66, remained the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court Bar Association.

She was also an author and remained a staunch activist for democracy.

Jahangir was born in Lahore in January 1952. She received a Bachelors’ degree from Kinnaird College and an LLB from Punjab University. She was called to the Lahore High Court in 1980 and to the Supreme Court in 1982. She later went on to become the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

She became a democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which agitated against military dictator Ziaul Haq’s regime.

She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement, for which she was put under house arrest.

She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women’s Action Forum.

She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010 and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz. In 2014, she was also awarded a UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officier de la Légion d’honneur – France’s highest civilian award – and Sweden’s alternative to the Nobel Prize for her decades of rights work.

She braved death threats, beatings and imprisonment to win landmark human rights cases and stand up to dictators.

‘Loss of human rights champion’