The International law section of the American Bar Association (ABA) has awarded Pakistani activist Hina ;Jilani ;the ;2008 International ;Human Rights Lawyer Award.
Jilani, who received the Editor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement at The Lawyer Awards 2008, co-founded Pakistan’s first all-female legal practice in 1980 and the country’s first free legal aid centre in 1983.
She recently finished an eight-year mandate as the UN special representative of the secretary-general on human rights defenders, travelling to 12 countries to investigate the persecution of human rights activists.
In November 2007 Jilani escaped arrest while on a visit to the UK after a state of emergency was declared and Pakistan’s judiciary sacked. Before returning to Pakistan Jilani raised support from the Law Society and led a demonstration at Downing Street.