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Pakistan Mourns The Loss Of Feminist Icon, Human Rights Activist, And Lawyer Asma Jahangir

Jahangir had a cardiac arrest in Lahore and died this morning.

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Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir, 66, died in Lahore, Sunday.

Her family told DawnNews that she had a cardiac arrest and died soon after being shifted to a hospital.
Arif Ali / AFP / Getty Images

Her family told DawnNews that she had a cardiac arrest and died soon after being shifted to a hospital.

The people of South Asia, as well as followers of her work from the world over, are mourning the sudden death of Jahangir, who was recognised for her activism, particularly surrounding human rights, women's rights, and minority rights in Pakistan.

Asma Jahangir was the bravest person I knew. She fearlessly stood up to dictators, thugs, misogynists. She was neve… https://t.co/Py90gRTWlV

This is a scale of tragedy and national loss that we would remember with excruciating pain for a long long time. Th… https://t.co/vTdHnPtrbS

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Asma Jahangir , undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights who had the courage to face… https://t.co/l85R5b18xk

One of the bravest persons I have had the privilege to meet, Asma Jahangir has passed away.. a human rights activis… https://t.co/yRImIjx3EE

A true daughter of the soil, fierce fighter for what is right, defender of humanity.. May you rest in peace.… https://t.co/0GTBr5akdS

Jahangir served as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan from 2010 to 2012, and cofounded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1987.

She remained in office at the Human Rights Commission until 2011, serving in as its secretary general and later as chair. Before her death, she had been working as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran.
Jean-pierre Muller / AFP / Getty Images

She remained in office at the Human Rights Commission until 2011, serving in as its secretary general and later as chair. Before her death, she had been working as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran.

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She was a standout voice for Pakistan's marginalised people. Despite all the threats and slander, Jahangir fearlessly critiqued and rallied against the country's blasphemy laws and growing Talibanisation.

Arif Ali / AFP / Getty Images

In the early '80s, she was imprisoned for partaking in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy during the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq.

Her family was threatened and her driver was beaten up in 1995 for her daring to defend a 14-year-old Salamat Masih who received the death penalty on the accusation of blasphemy.

In 2007, Jahangir rallied against a "Taliban style anti-vice campaign" launched by Muslim students. As a result of her activism, effigies of her were torched in public.

Her daughters were kidnapped and assaulted in 2008.

Jahangir is hailed as a South Asian feminist icon for her endless efforts towards women's liberation, and the abolishment of misogynistic laws and practices.

She notably critiqued the misogynistic and barbaric Hudood Ordinance, enacted in 1997 under Zia-ul-Haq, among other Pakistani laws that were misogynistic, archaic, and discriminatory towards religious minorities.She wrote two books, titled The Hudood Ordinance: A Divine Sanction and Children of a Lesser God.In the photo above, she is addressing a protest rally in 2009 against the public flogging of a veiled woman.
Arif Ali / AFP / Getty Images

She notably critiqued the misogynistic and barbaric Hudood Ordinance, enacted in 1997 under Zia-ul-Haq, among other Pakistani laws that were misogynistic, archaic, and discriminatory towards religious minorities.

She wrote two books, titled The Hudood Ordinance: A Divine Sanction and Children of a Lesser God.

In the photo above, she is addressing a protest rally in 2009 against the public flogging of a veiled woman.

She received several awards, both national and international, for her incalculable efforts for human rights everywhere.

In Pakistan, she was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the second and third highest civilian honours.Internationally, she was awarded the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, an Officier de la Légion d'honneur by France, the 2010 Freedom of Worship Award, Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.Here, she is receiving the Right Livelihood Award in Sweden in 2014.
Pontus Lundahl / AFP / Getty Images

In Pakistan, she was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the second and third highest civilian honours.

Internationally, she was awarded the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, an Officier de la Légion d'honneur by France, the 2010 Freedom of Worship Award, Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Here, she is receiving the Right Livelihood Award in Sweden in 2014.

No amount of pressure will deter me from representing women in distress It has been my life mission Till the last breath will stand by them

Imaan Sheikh is a writer for BuzzFeed and is based in Dubai.

Contact Imaan Sheikh at imaan.sheikh@buzzfeed.com.

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