Asma Jahangir: Pakistani human rights lawyer who risked her life to challenge dictatorship and relig

Mourned by the UN as a ‘giant’, Jehangir spoke out for women abused in the name of ‘honour’ and non-Muslims harassed as ‘infidels’

Jehangir addressing a rally in Lahore in 2009 – Malala tweeted that the best tribute to her ‘is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy’ Getty

She was branded a traitor to Islam and her homeland, accused of blasphemy, attacked by angry mobs and thrown into prison. A US intelligence reported leaked in 2012 suggested she survived an assassination attempt by Pakistan’s security forces. She was hailed as a courageous crusader, awarded dozens of international honours, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and described as “the gutsiest woman” in Pakistan.

For more than three decades, Asma Jehangir, who has died aged 66, was a sharp-tongued activist and Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer and champion. She spoke out for women abused in the name of “honour”, defended non-Muslims harassed as “infidels”, denounced religious extremism and marched for democratic freedoms under dictatorship.

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