© UN Photo

Defence for Children International deeply saddened by the death of Ms. Asma Jahangir


Geneva, Switzerland

 © UN Photo


It is with deepest sadness that Defence for Children International (DCI) has learned of the death of Ms Asma Jahangir, human rights defender and former member of DCI’s International Executive Council – IEC between 1992 and 1995, representing DCI’s National Section in Pakistan. Ms Jahangir was an active and committed member of DCI’s International Executive Council

Nigel Cantwell, founder of DCI, has expressed his deep sorrow at the passing of Ms Jahangir: “The news of Asma’s death came as a tremendous shock – she was an indefatigable and truly outstanding human rights defender, and a great supporter of DCI from its early days”.

Trained as a lawyer and worked in Pakistan’s Supreme Court from age 30. A strong defender of Democracy, Human Rights, Rights of women and children, Asma was jailed in 1983 for pro-democracy activities and critic of the military establishment. She was then put under house arrest in 2007 for opposing military leader’s removal of Supreme Court chief justice. DCI campaigned for her liberation from jail and against the house arrest in 2007.

Asma has been the first female leader of Pakistan’s Supreme Court bar association and a winner of several awards including the Unesco/Bilbao prize for the promotion of a culture of human rights and the French Legion of Honour. She served in various UN Human Rights mandates, as UN Special Rapporteur on extra judicial execution, Special rapporteur on freedom of religion as well as on human rights in Iran.

DCI would like to extend its most respectful thoughts and support to Ms Jahangir’s family, friends and colleagues during these difficult days. The Human Rights community loses a great defender and ally.


Media contact:

For further information, please contact Paula Trujillo at paula.trujillo@defenceforchildren.org or by phone at +41(0)227340558

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