[JURIST] Asma Jahangir [Bloomberg profile], a leading human rights activist and lawyer in Pakistan, died Sunday after suffering from cardiac arrest in her hometown city of Lahore at the age of 66.
Jahangir dedicated decades of her life towards the pursuit of bringing about human rights changes within the Pakistani government and military, co-founding the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan [advocacy website] and serving as the first female leader of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan [official website]. She had also been serving as Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for the UN.
Following the news, human rights organizations and Pakistani officials expressed their condolences. UN Secretary-General [official website] Antonio Guterres issued a statement [text] commemorating Ms. Jahangir
[w]e have lost a human rights giant. News of the death of Asma Jahangir today is echoing within her native Pakistan and across the world. She was a tireless advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality - whether in her capacity as a Pakistani lawyer in the domestic justice system, as a global civil society activist, or as a Special Rapporteur.Calls have been made for a state funeral, though arrangements have not yet been made.
Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind. I convey my heartfelt condolences to Asma's family, friends and colleagues, including in the United Nations and civil society within which she was such a leader. Asma will not be forgotten.