Senior lawyer and social activist Asma Jahangir passes away

Death of Asma Jahangir is shocking

Death of Asma Jahangir is shocking

The Indian film industry today mourned the death of Pakistan's renowned human rights lawyer and social activist, Asma Jahangir.

Jahangir was born in Lahore in January 1952.

She remained the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court Bar Association. She was also appointed as United Nations rapporteur in the region during the 1990s.

After her graduation from the prestigious Kinnaird College and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978, she hit the headlines when she enthusiastically jumped into the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) against the Zia ul-Haq dictatorship and was jailed.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai said on Twitter she was "heartbroken" at the death of the "savior of democracy and human rights", especially as the pair had just met in Britain a week ago.

General Musharraf openly expressed his hate for Asma Jehangir for raising her voice against missing persons often picked up by the intelligence agencies and never produced before the courts.

"Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy..." She defended minority Christians charged with blasphemy, an offense that under Pakistan's controversial law carries the death penalty.

The premier termed her demise as a great loss for legal fraternity.

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Outspoken Jahangir was known as a defender of democracy and human rights in the country, always speaking out against military rule.

The cause of her death has not been confirmed yet, but according to media reports, it was due to cardiac arrest. "Asma! Rest in Power!"

She was again put under house arrest in November 2007 after the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan.

During her long career in law and rights activism, she won freedom for bonded laborers from their "owners", and the right for women to marry of their own volition.

She has received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010.

There is still awful violence against women, discrimination against minorities and near-slavery for bonded labourers, Jahangir told AFP during an interview in 2014, but human rights have made greater strides in Pakistan than may be apparent.

Pakistan's former foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, tweeted, "There' s no one who can match her bravery and courage".

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