Asma Jahangir, leading human rights lawyer, passes away in Lahore

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General Musharraf openly expressed his hate for Asma Jehangir for raising her voice against missing persons often picked up by the intelligence agencies and never produced before the courts. She remained HRCP Chairman from 1987 to 2011.

Veteran Human Rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday after suffering a cardiac arrest at age of 66, ARY News reported.

Another tweet expressed how she was viewed as a safety blanket by many activists across the country.

Born on January 27, 1952, Jehangir had a prominent career both as a lawyer and rights activist. I met her a week ago in Oxford. "And then the boot comes". She was the first woman to serve as head of the SCBA.

Nobel prize victor Malala Yousafzai remarked: "Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir - a saviour of democracy and human rights".

Jahangir had participated in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy and protested against former Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq's oppressive military rule. In one case, she defended a blind adolescent girl who was raped, accused of fornication and sentenced to be flogged and imprisoned.

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She was repeatedly threatened by the country's militant religious right, whom she criticized loudly and often. Sarwar was visiting Ms. Jehangir's and Jilani's law office in Lahore when Sarwar's parents and another man entered. Once, while representing a Christian boy sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, she was attacked by a violent mob outside the courthouse.

As the news of her death broke, condolences started pouring in from lawyers, rights activists and politicians. "It is also an award for the voiceless people and all others who have been victims of human rights abuses". Legal associations across Pakistan announced three days of mourning.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan had become poorer with her demise.

In recognition of her services in the field of human rights, Jahangir was awarded the American Bar Association International Human Rights Award in 1992, the Martin Ennals Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1995. Her time behind bars though, failed to curtail her passion for the rule of law and constitution, according to Pakistani lawyer and political analyst Babar Sattar who tweeted, "She stood tall among pigmies, spoke truth to intoxicated power & stood up to fight when she thought she was right".

She has received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010.

A mother of one son and two daughters, Jahangir was also the co-chair of South Asians for Human Rights.