Pakistani Activist Asma Jahangir Posthumously Awarded UN Human Rights Prize


Asma Jahangir was one of the most respected human rights activists in Pakistan.

Human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir was announced as one of the four winners of the 2018 UN Human Rights Prize on Dec 14.

ISLAMABAD (IANS) — Late Pakistani human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir was announced as one of the four winners of the 2018 UN Human Rights Prize on December 14.

The announcement was made through the Twitter account of the President of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces.

“Today I announced the 2018 winners of the UN Human Rights Prize,” Garces said, before naming Jahangir and three other recipients — Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana and Ireland’s human rights organisation Front Line Defenders — as winners.

“Your work is an inspiration to us,” she said.

Jahangir became the fourth Pakistani woman to be awarded the UN Human Rights Prize. Before her, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan (1978), Benazir Bhutto (2008) and Malala Yousufzai (2013) had been accorded the honour.

Jahangir, who passed away on February 11 due to cardiac arrest, was known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit of human rights as well as for remaining undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition.

She fought her battles on the streets and in the courts, opposed military strongmen and steadfastly championed the rights of women, minorities and LGBTs.

From 1998-2000 Jahangir served as the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions and was the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion Or Belief of the UN Commission on Human Rights since 2004.

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