Fletcher in the News

Remembering the Extraordinary Life of Pakistani Human Rights Lawyer & Activist Asma Jahangir, Professor Ayesha Jalal speaks with Democracy Now!

On Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, the world-renowned Pakistani human rights lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir died suddenly at the age of 66. 

For decades, Jahangir has been a leading advocate for women, minorities and democracy in Pakistan. In 1983, she was imprisoned for her work with the Movement to Restore Democracy during the military rule of General Zia ul-Haq. Later, in 2007, she was put under house arrest for helping lead a lawyers’ protest movement that helped oust military leader Pervez Musharraf. As one of Pakistan’s most powerful lawyers, she founded the country’s first legal aid center in 1986, served as the first female president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and was the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights, extrajudicial killings and religious freedoms. Democracy Now! interviewed Asma Jahangir in 2007 and 2016. 

Click here to watch Asma Jahangir’s full speech when she accepted the Right Livelihood Award in 2014. 

For more on her extraordinary life, we speak with her close personal friend, the Mary Richardson Professor of History at The Fletcher School and Tufts University, Ayesha Jalal. 

Clip begins at 48:00.