Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer and Alternative Nobel Laureate Asma Jahangir has passed away

Press Release                              Stockholm, 11 February 2018

The Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir, who received the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, has died of a heart attack at the age of 66. Jahangir had served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran since 2016.

Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation said:
“Asma Jahangir was among the most inspiring human rights lawyers of her generation. She was a lighthouse against injustice and religious fanaticism in an increasingly anti-democratic world. She demonstrated what it really takes to defend human dignity – from standing up for the most vulnerable people on the ground to defending international law in senior UN roles.”

Asma Jahangir has over three decades shown incredible courage in defending the most vulnerable Pakistanis – women, children, religious minorities and the poor. She received the 2014 Right Livelihood Award “for defending, protecting and promoting human rights in Pakistan and more widely, often in very difficult and complex situations and at great personal risk.”

Having founded the first legal aid center in Pakistan in 1986, Jahangir courageously took on very complicated cases and won. For her relentless campaigning against laws that discriminate against women, and for continuously speaking truth to power, Jahangir was threatened, assaulted in public and placed under house arrest. She made history when she was elected as the first female President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in 2010.

Besides her work in Pakistan, Asma Jahangir has promoted human rights internationally through her long service with the United Nations. She was UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or Summary Executions from 1998 to 2004, and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief from 2004 to 2010. She was appointed the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran in 2016.

Ole von Uexkull said:
“We express our deepest condolences to Asma Jahangir’s family at this difficult time. Her passing is a colossal loss for Pakistan and the world. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation and its family of Laureates around the world will do whatever is in our power to keep Asma’s legacy alive.”.

Watch a video interview with Asma Jahangir recorded in 2017.  Read more about Asma Jahangir here. Her acceptance speech for the 2014 Right Livelihood Award Presentation, held in the Swedish parliament, can be found here.


For further  information  and  to  arrange  interviews, please  contact  Johannes  Mosskin,  Public Relations Advisor,  mobile:  +46  (0)70  43  71  148, e-mail:



Right Livelihood i Almedalen: Ryssland, mänskliga rättigheter och din säkerhet

Memorial seminar Almedalen 2017

Nu är det snart dags för årets Almedalsvecka. Right Livelihood-stiftelsen är på plats 3-6 juli för att lyfta våra pristagares framgångsrika arbete, utveckla nya samarbeten och inspirera till förändring. Vi medverkar i två seminarier men du behöver inte vara på plats för att följa samtalen eller engagera dig i debatten – de sänds direkt på nätet.

I år har vi bjudit in den ryska pristagarorganisationen Memorial för att medverka i ett samtal om situationen för människorättsförsvarare i Ryssland och hur utvecklingen påverkar säkerheten i Sverige. Kan starkare stöd till den ryska mr-rörelsen vara ett effektivt sätt att skapa trygghet och bidra till demokratisk utveckling i Östersjöregionen? Värt att fundera på i upprustningstider:

Swedish support for human rights in Russia – crucial for our security?
Onsdag 5 juli kl 17.00-17.45, Sverige i Världen scenen, Sida, Donnersgatan 6

I panelen: Kirill Koroteev (människorättsadvokat, Memorial), Alexandra Völker (S), Mathias Sundin (L), Robert Hårdh (Civil Rights Defenders)
Moderator: Ole von Uexkull, Right Livelihood-stiftelsen
Arrangörer: Right Livelihood-stiftelsen och Civil Rights Defenders
Twitter: @rlafoundation
Seminariet sänds live här.


Handlingsutrymmet för civilsamhället krymper i många delar av världen enligt flera rapporter. Hur motverkar vi denna utveckling? Ole von Uexkull ger exempel på hur kampen för ett starkare civilsamhälle förs runt om i världen:

Är det krympande civilsamhället på väg hit?
Måndag 3 juli kl 15.15-16.15, Ideella trädgården, Birgers gränd 7
Arrangör: Forum – idéburna organisationer med social inriktning.
Twitter: @rlafoundation
Seminariet sänds live här.

Hoppas vi ses i Almedalen eller på #Almedalen!

‘Alternative Nobel’ and World Future Council Mourn Egypt’s Sustainable Development Trailblazer



The Right Livelihood Award Foundation and the World Future Council are deeply saddened by the passing of their Egyptian Laureate and founding member Dr Ibrahim Abouleish.

Dr Abouleish, founder of SEKEM, received the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ in 2003 for implementing an innovative business model which combines commercial success with social and cultural development.

Dr Monika Griefahn, Chair of the Foundation’s Board, said: “On behalf of the entire Right Livelihood Award family, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the Abouleish family. Dr Abouleish was a true visionary and trailblazer, and the world is only now starting to catch up with his 40-year-old model of environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically viable development. A joyful and warm-hearted person, he will be greatly missed by all of us and his many colleagues and friends around the world.”

Dr Abouleish founded SEKEM in 1977 as a blueprint for the healthy corporation for the 21st century. Taking its name from the hieroglyphic transcription meaning “vitality of the sun”, SEKEM was the first entity to develop biodynamic farming methods in Egypt and has since broadened its scope to address health, educational and cultural issues. Dr Abouleish also founded the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development where students study science, technology, arts, engineering and economics with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Over the years, SEKEM and the Heliopolis University played host to meetings of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award Laureates.

“Ibrahim Abouleish’s remarkable initiative SEKEM has brought the desert alive. His Heliopolis University broadens the human mind, challenging modern monocultural thinking. Both show how much more humans can achieve when their work is based on cooperation, solidarity, mutual respect and the common good. His life achievements SEKEM and Heliopolis University are pioneering projects healing people and planet,” said Right Livelihood Award and World Future Council Founder Jakob von Uexkull.

A tireless advocate for sustainable development over five decades, Dr Abouleish has received numerous awards and recognitions in addition to the Right Livelihood Award, including the German Federal Cross of Merit and the United Nations ‘Land for Life’ Award. He was also named a distinguished social entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation.

According to Islamic traditions, Dr Abouleish will be buried tomorrow, Friday, 16 June at 12:00.