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Archives for : February2018

#RIP- Human rights icon Asma Jahangir passes away in Lahore

LAHORE: Prominent lawyer and human rights icon Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday after suffering a stroke. She was 66 years old.

Family sources said Jahangir‘s funeral will be held on February 13 as a family member is in London.

Officials at the private hospital where Jahangir passed away said she was brought to the hospital unconscious after suffering brain hemorrhage resulting from a stroke.

They added that despite several attempts to bring her blood pressure back to normal, she passed away in a state of unconsciousness.

Jahangir’s sister, lawyer and human rights activist Hina Jilani, told Geo News that “the way she [Asma] lived, it’s not just the family’s loss but also of those who are voiceless and whose voices she raised”.

Earlier, her daughter, broadcast journalist Munizae Jahangir, shared on Twitter that the family is awaiting relatives to return to Lahore before the funeral can be held.

I am devastated @ loss of my mother Asma Jahangir.We shall B announcing date of funeral soon.We R waiting 4 our relatives 2 return 2 Lahore

Bar associations across the country have said they will be observing three days of mourning and not partake in court proceedings.

Jahangir remained the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court Bar Association.

She was known for taking up court cases of victimised and marginalised sections of society, as well as speaking against human rights violations and her courageous stand against the military rule of General Zia-ul-Haq.

An author and staunch activist of democracy, Jahangir also received several accolades for her work on human rights.

Jahangir was also a vocal opponent of judicial overreach and would often confront the superior judiciary when it would extend its jurisdiction in her opinion.

In the last post on her Twitter account, Jahangir cautioned the Supreme Court from selectively using the contempt of court law.

Nehal Hashmi’s tone and words cannot be defended but use of contempt law selectively only undermines confidence in the system of justice

Asma Jahangir (1952-2018)

Born in Lahore on January 27, 1952, Jahangir completed her bachelors of arts and law from Lahore and then went on to pursue higher legal studies from Switzerland, Canada and US.

Jahangir taught constitutional law at Quaid-e-Azam Law College, Lahore.

She conducted consultancy on judicial reforms in Pakistan and Bangladesh for the Asian Development Bank and World Bank. Jahangir also remained a member of the Commission of Enquiry for Women from 1994-1997.

From 1998-200 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.

Jahangir was also an executive member at the International Crisis Group and chief economist advisory council member of World Bank since 2001.

She was also the founding member of Women’s Action Forum, Pakistan.

Jahangir also received several awards, including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, 2010 Freedom Award, Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2010 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights in 2010 and an Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France in 2014. The Legion of Honour is the highest French award.

At present, she was a partner at AGHS Law Associates and head of its legal aid cell.

Outpour of grief

Following the sad news, messages of grief and condolences poured in.

President Mamnoon Hussain said Jahangir had rendered unprecedented services for the rule of law. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the country had lost a courageous and disciplined person who fought fearlessly for human rights. Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said the entire country pays tribute to Jahangir’s services.

Condolences also poured in on Twitter over the demise of Jahangir.

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ

Deeply saddened by the news of sudden demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir sahiba. Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy. May her soul rest in peace!

My dearest friend and leader Asma Jehangir has passed away. We are in a state of shock and grief. This void will not be easily filled. Her courage to speak truth to power was unprecedented and exemplary. Asma! Rest in Power!

Shocked to hear @Asma_Jahangir passed away. Huge loss for us, for . She was courageous, fearless, invincible. In absolute disbelief. Please pray for her & her family.

.@asma_jahangir What a brave woman.Pakistan poorer without her.People like Asma are anchors of a society.The brave and dedicated daughter of a brave father.After 3 generations of camaraderie between our families,this is a deep personal loss.God bless her soul

Shocked & deeply saddened to hear of Asma Jehangir’s sudden death. It is an irreparable loss. May she rest in eternal peace. Ameen.

Sorry to hear about asma jahangir passing away. I disagreed with many of her political positions but respected the fact that she clearly stood up for what she believed in

Shocking to hear about the passing of this brave woman. Her honesty and sincerity to her cause remains an inspiration for our generation. Was always so full of life. We will miss you ma’am. @Asma_Jahangir

Aasma Jahangir was a woman of extraordinary determination.Her dedication to justice gave many people of Balochistan hope. A woman who fought patriarchy & non-democratic forces was truly what it takes to be an Iron Lady.Thank you Asma Jahangir. Balochistan is forever in your debt

Bravest, fearless, a true democrat Asma Jahangir has passed away… sad day… RIP

An extraordinary woman who fought for ordinary people. Asmaji had the audacity and the courage to fight for a fairer world. Thank you for touching our lives. 🙏🙏🙏

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir – a saviour of democracy and human rights.

I met her a week ago in Oxford. I cannot believe she is no more among us. The best tribute to her is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy.

Asma Jehangir’s death is a loss of a strong voice for the marginalised and oppressed. Despite our differences I always respected her for her fight for human rights and for standing up for her convictions.

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India – Love in face of Lathis


As the world gets ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, couples share their stories of romance in the age of rabble-rousers

When the bride’s family screams love jihad

Love jihad was a term Muhammad Anas and Nimisha had heard but never thought would apply to them. The two were in college studying mass communication in north Kerala when they became friends in 2008.

“Ours was not a typical campus love story. I was seriously injured in a bus accident in 2009. I’d graduated from college by then. She motivated me a lot when I was bedridden and that’s how love bloomed,” says Anas, who was her senior at Muslim Education Society College in Nilambur near the Western Ghats.

After he recovered, they decided to marry despite opposition from their communities — but it would be three years before they could tie the knot. “Nimisha’s family alleged ‘love jihad’. Some of them are Sangh Parivar members. They insisted this was an attempt at forced conversion,” says Anas, now 33.

Though there were no open threats, the pressure on Anas to leave Nimisha was high. “They never mentioned it but you could feel the power of the organisation backing them. They sent warnings and veiled threats through people they called mediators to try and scare me into leaving her,” says Anas, who is from an orthodox family in Nilambur.

The couple finally fled and took refuge in a village in Karnataka in October 2012. Nimisha’s family went to the police in their hometown of Vandur, so the couple surrendered before the local court, which allowed them to leave together after receiving an application for marriage.

The next day, Nimisha’s family filed a petition before the Kerala high court saying that Anas had terrorist affiliations and the affair was a case of love jihad. “The allegations were a shock to my family. I decided to fight back,” Anas says.

When Nimisha was produced before the high court, the judge asked her mother if she would consent to Nimisha’s marriage to Anas. Her mother reiterated the allegation of love jihad, so the court directed the Vandur police to provide security and ensure that they were married at the sub-registrar office in Nilambur within a month.

During that month, Anas said he received many threats, and Nimisha was sent to a women’s shelter where she was constantly told not to marry him. “Nimisha stayed strong,” says Anas.

The couple got married at the subregistrar office with police security on November 6, 2012. “My father, mother and sisters were there, but her family refused to come,” says Anas.

A year ago, Nimisha’s parents reconciled with the couple when her brother was getting married. “But my other relatives are still don’t talk to us,” says Nimisha.

The couple has a two-month-old child. “We each follow our own faith and our child will choose her religion once she becomes a major,” says Nimisha.

Why this couple won’t forget their wedding night


Monika, 32, and Vikramjeet, 35, will never forget their wedding night — they had to scale a wall and run barefoot to a relative’s house in the next village to escape Monika’s furious family.

“We were sleeping at my inlaws’ house in Bijjuwali village when we were woken by shouts. We looked out of the window and saw my brother and a group of young men armed with sticks trying to break into the house,” Monika remembers.

Monika, a Jat, and Vikramjeet, a Dalit, met on a bus when they were students in Haryana’s Sirsa and fell in love. They knew they would draw the wrath of her entire community but decided to risk it.

In 2005, when she was 19 and he 23, they ran away and registered their marriage in a Chandigarh court. Monika’s godara gotra, a dominant Jat sub-caste, was livid and young men from the community threatened the couple as well as tried to intimidate Vikramjeet’s family. The couple has had to change homes several times in the last 12 years to protect their marriage and stay safe.

The couple finally approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, which directed the Haryana police to provide security cover and register an FIR against Monika’s family members.

Monika and Vikramjeet, who have a 10-year-old son, are now settled but they still worry about retaliation. Happy that the Supreme Court recently told khap panchayats not to interfere in marriages, Monika feels the government should do more to encourage inter-caste marriage. “If they are really serious about ending the caste system, they should provide a government job to women who marry outside their caste,” she says.

According to Vikramjeet, it’s important to train local police as they are the first point of contact for the couple and the family. “In our case, police tried to force Monika to return to her parents saying she had brought dishonour to her family.” The police should be more sensitive, he adds.

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