On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff of the Universal Rights Group, I would like to express our deep shock and sorrow at the passing of our esteemed founding Board Member, Asma Jahangir.
Asma had been a major source of guidance and wisdom in our work over the past five years. She has also, of course, been an inspiration to all those who work in the field of human rights; constantly reminding us, even in difficult times, that our work can make a difference.
Asma was a fearless campaigner who spoke the truth to power, and who championed the rights of everyone, especially those who are marginalised. She deployed her formidable legal skills and strength of character to great effect, influencing and improving the lives of millions around the world. Never one to walk away from a challenge, she stood her ground and pursued her cause despite threats to her liberty and physical integrity. Her example and her words have given hope to countless victims of human rights violations around the world, and have inspired millions of women and girls.
In addition to her ground-breaking work in her home country, Pakistan, Asma also actively worked to promote and protect human rights at international level. For example, she held three Special Procedures mandates: on extrajudicial executions, freedom of religion or belief, and on the situation in Iran. Across all this work, she consistently pushed the boundaries of what was possible – always striving to secure remedy and redress for the victims.
With her passing, we have lost an indefatigable campaigner for justice, a fearless champion of the oppressed, a reliable comrade-in-arms and an admirable human being. She leaves a void that cannot be filled, and will be missed by the millions whose lives she has touched.
Our condolences to the bereaved family and to all her friends and loved ones. May she rest in peace.
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