Asma Jahangir receives Right Livelihood Award

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Human rights activist Asma Jahangir on Monday received the Right Livelihood Award – also called the “alternative Nobel prize” – along with US whistleblower Edward Snowden, British journalist Alan Rusbridger, Sri Lankan rights activist Basil Fernando, and US environmentalist Bill McKibben in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Sweden-based award “honors courageous and effective work for human rights, freedom of the press, civil liberties and combating climate change,” according to a statement released by the Right Livelihood Award committee.

The top rights activist shared the 1.5 million kronor ($210,000) cash portion of the award, also known as the “alternative Nobel,” with Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and US environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Created in 1980, the annual award acknowledges efforts that its founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

62-year-old Jahangir is Pakistan’s leading human rights activist and a former president of the South Asian nation’s Supreme Court Bar Association.

She is also a former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a non-governmental rights-based organization, and has worked with the United Nations as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.