RSF pays tribute to Asma Jahangir on her death

Aaron Brown
February 15, 2018

Her death sparked an outpouring of tributes from global human rights groups and political leaders, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres - who called her a "human rights giant" - and Nobel prize victor Malala Yousafzai.

Jahangir died in Lahore city on Sunday, media reports said.

The nation has been left shocked by her death. She was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or Summary Executions and later as the UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Both CCA and the WCC were partners of the Commission in their human rights advocacy on rights of religious minorities and democratisation in Pakistan.

Her death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from global human rights groups and political leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres - who called her a "human rights giant" - and Pakistan's Nobel prize victor Malala Yousafzai.

"Most recently she served as the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, tirelessly fighting on behalf of the Iranian people as they demanded freedom, dignity, and respect for human rights". Although she was not given permission to pursue her mandate within the country, she collected evidence of human rights violations and documented these for her submission to the General Assembly.

The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.

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Following news of her death, the CCA expressed its "deep condolences" to her family, friends and admirers. Pakistan has still not digested the fact that HRCP brings out annual surveys of how the state continues to crush its Hindu and Christian minorities - including the Hindus of Tharparkar who travel to Lahore to describe how Hafiz Saeed persuades them to embrace Islam if they want to benefit from his charity.

Even the ones who do not comprehend Pakistan much would understand how unsafe and deadly it could be to resist military dictatorship and religious extremism in that country. She was sentenced to flogging and three years' imprisonment.

They said she had secured a number of victories during her life, from winning freedom for bonded labourers from their "owners" through pioneering litigation to a landmark court case that allowed women to marry of their own free will. With her sister and fellow activists, Asma established a law firm, the first ever by women. Not only because at 66 years she had many miles to go and many causes to serve.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) frequently pointed to Jahangir's work in its calls for global support against the Iranian regime's human rights violations.

"'Speaking truth to power, ' a phrase we often use, Asma Jahangir lived, practiced till her last breath", said another activist, Raza Ahmed Rumi.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar visited the residence of late Asma Jahangir to condole her demise with the bereaved family.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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