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’
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
Deeply saddened by the news of sudden demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir sahiba. Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy. May her soul rest in peace!
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) February 11, 2018
Democracy, human rights and resistance against oppression lost a great soldier- Asma Jehangir. It’s everyone’s loss. What a sad day!
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) February 11, 2018
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) February 11, 2018
Sorry to hear about asma jahangir passing away. I disagreed with many of her political positions but respected the fact that she clearly stood up for what she believed in
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) February 11, 2018
Asma Jahangir was the bravest human being i ever knew. Without her the world is less
— salman akram raja (@salmanAraja) February 11, 2018
What a loss! A great colleague Asma Jahangir passes away. Few days ago, we appeared together in the Supreme Court. This distinguished voice shall be remembered for long
— Babar Awan (@BabarAwanPK) February 11, 2018
A huge loss for Pakistan – @Asma_Jahangir dies – plz someone tell me it didn’t happen – she was a star
— Ayesha Siddiqa (@iamthedrifter) February 11, 2018
Saddened to hear the loss of Asma Jahangir who was not only a prominent lawyer but also a voice of human rights. She was a patriotic Pakistani known internationally. My deepest condolences to her family. May Allah bless her soul. Ameen
— Mohammad Sarwar (@ChMSarwar) February 11, 2018
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaGeoNews) February 11, 2018
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) February 11, 2018
— Malik Ramzan Isra (@MalikRamzanIsra) February 11, 2018
At loss for words on the loss of #AsmaJahangir – Such ICONs define a country with their stand for humanity and human rights- #SRU mourns with the entire country- Allah bless her soul #RipAsmaJahangir #Pakistan #WomenRights pic.twitter.com/Qyo9dgf03d
— Chief Minister’s SRU (@smucmo) February 11, 2018