Thousands of Pakistanis turned out in the city of Lahore Tuesday to bid a final farewell to one of the country’s most prominent human rights activists, who died of cardiac arrest Sunday at the age of 66.
Friends, family, politicians and rights activists were among those who attended the funeral service for Asma Jahangir at the city’s Gadhafi Stadium.
Jahangir was one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a forum that went on to highlight rights violations across the country.
Jahangir also served as United Nations special rapporteur on human rights. On its website, the international rights body praised Jahangir for her “contribution to the cause of human rights” for which she received multiple awards both nationally and internationally.
The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it was joining Pakistan and other countries around the world in mourning the death of the human rights and democracy advocate.
“For years, she courageously defended the rights of those who did not have a voice, and championed the rule of law, democracy and human rights, including freedom of religion or belief,” said spokesperson Heather Nauert, calling Jahangir a “global icon in human rights.
“Her death is a great loss to the world, and she will be missed as a champion of her country, its people and the millions more around the world on whose behalf she spoke,” Nauert added.