United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran Asma Jahangir passes away


"The best tribute to her is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy", tweeted Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, adding she had met Jahangir just last week in Oxford.

She died February 11 of a heart attack after being taken to a hospital in the Pakistani city of Lahore, her lifetime home, her family announced. At the time of her death she had been working as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran.

Awami National National Party Central President Asfandyar Wali Khan and General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Sunday expressed deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir.

Akhtar called Asma "undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights".

Asma Jahangir represented Salamat Masih and Rehmat Masih when they appealed before the Lahore High Court against their conviction.

She worked closely with her sister Hina Jilani on many of her endeavours. "We R waiting 4 our relatives 2 return 2 Lahore", she said in a tweet. Years later, she was detained again by the government of then military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

In 1993, an 11-year-old Christian boy, Salamat Masih, and his uncles, Manzoor Masih and Rehmat Masih, were accused of writing blasphemous words on the wall of a mosque in a small town near Lahore.

Jahangir became a democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which rallied against military dictator Zia-ul-Haq's regime.

"She was courageous and dedicated rights and social activist and above all the voice of the voiceless", said he.

As the news of her death broke, condolences started pouring in from lawyers, rights activists and politicians. Her daughter Muneezay is a TV anchor.

The lawyers throughout the country will also not appear in courts on Monday for attending her funeral and to hold condolence meetings in their respective bar associations.

She completed her schooling Convent of Jesus and Mary Lahore and finished her bachelor degree from Kinnaird College Lahore.

Her daughter Munizae Jahangir confirmed the news of her death on the microblogging site. She remained HRCP Chairman from 1987 to 2011.

She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.