Pakistani Lawyer And Human Rights Activist Asma Jahangir Wins UN Award Posthumously
Late Pakistani lawyer and iconic human rights activist Asma Jahangir, who passed away in February, has been named as one of the winners for UN Human Rights Prize, 2018.
According to the Asian Age, The prize was announced by the UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés via her Twitter account.
It said, “Today I announced the 2018 winners of the @UN Human Rights Prize. I am proud to recognise the contributions of individuals & organisations that promote & protect human rights Rebeca Gyumi. Asma Jahangir Joênia Wapichana. Your work is an inspiration to us all.”
The other three recipients include Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapixana and Ireland’s human rights organisation Front Line Defenders.
A little about Asma
Asma Jahangir started her involvement in social activism at a very young age when she protested against the false detention of her father by the military regime in 1972. During her elaborate career, she became- a crusader of rights for women, children and religious minorities in Pakistan.
Interestingly, she is the fourth Pakistani woman to be awarded the prize. Previous Pakistani women winners include Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan (1978), Benazir Bhutto (2008) and Malala Yousufzai (2013).
In 1987, she co-established the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and eventually became its chairperson. Throughout her career, she remained an activist for restoring democracy and inclusivity in Pakistan. She ardently opposed the military regime especially of General Zia-ul-Haq that presided over the country for several years.
She remained one of the leading faces for the Lawyer’s Movement that began in Pakistan in 2007 for the restoration of judicial independence. She went on to become Pakistan’s first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association. She has also authored two books and has written for many publications
Working with the UN, she served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion from 2004 till 2010. In 2016, she was appointed as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, a post she held till her death in 2018. She died in Lahore due to a cardiac arrest. However, Some reports said the lawyer had battled cancer for years.
The Logical Indian appreciates and celebrates the work that Asma has done for so many people fighting many odds. In spite that she did not give up and that is the inspiration, we all should drive from her journey.