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Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir is awarded posthumously UN Human Rights Prize. Jahangir served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions from 1998 to 2004 and as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief from 2004 to 2010.
Today I announced the 2018 winners of the @UN Human Rights Prize. I am proud to recognise the contributions of individuals & organizations that promote & protect human rights @RebecaGyumi @Asma_Jahangir Joênia Wapichana @FrontLineHRD Your work is an inspiration to us all #UN4ALL
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) October 25, 2018
The United Nations General Assembly President made the announcement from official Twitter account last week on Thursday.
“Today I announced the 2018 winners of the @UN Human Rights Prize. I am proud to recognise the contributions of individuals & organizations that promote & protect human rights Rebeca Gyumi. Asma Jahangir Joênia Wapichana. Your work is an inspiration to us all.”
Her daughter Moniza Jahangir while expressing the pleasure over the news stated, “Although it is a challenging time for human rights defenders, the UN award gives immense encouragement, solace and hope to continue the good work in our country,” Moniza said.
The Human Rights Commission Report also praised the services of the deceased lawyer in its statement. “She served as the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, freedom of religion and belief and on Iran. Her legacy in Pakistan alone is unmatched,” the HRCP stated.
Her another daughter Sulema Jahangir reminiscence the life and work of her mother Asma Jahangir. She stated, “We are very proud of our mother.” “For her, human rights were not a job, but a conviction; it was her life,” Sulema said.
“Had she been with us now, she would have been the first to rise for free and fair elections, non-interference of the judiciary in politics and against enforced disappearances of journalists and others,” she said. “Asma’s work continues at her firm, AGHS Legal Aid Cell, where a 17-member legal team works for the protection and promotion of equality and rights for all,” Sulema added.
She is the fourth Pakistani woman to acquire the prestigious UN Human Rights Prize. Prior to her Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan was awarded the prize in 1978, Benazir Bhutto in 2008 and Malala Yousafzai in 2013.
Asma Jahangir was a vociferous opponent of General Zia-ul-Haq as she spearheaded several protests against his government and encountered detentions during his government.
She passed away in February due to cardiac arrest. But was known for being outspoken and resilient in pursuing human rights throughout her life.