Pakistan lawyer Asma Jahangir wins UN Human Rights Prize posthumously

Islamabad, Pakistan Published: Oct 26, 2018, 07.32 PM(IST)

File photo of Pakistani leading human rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Asma Jahangir. Photograph:( AFP )

Pakistan's iconic human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir was posthumously awarded the 2018 UN Human Rights Prize.

She was one of the four winners of the award which was announced by the United Nations on Thursday.

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

"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 got the prize posthumously, the report added.

The "United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights" is an honorary award given for outstanding achievement in human rights, the world body said.

The award ceremony will take place in New York on December 10 on World Human Rights Day.

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) were accorded the honour.

Sixty-six-year-old 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 was the first woman to serve as the president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association.

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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