Asma Jilani Jahangir (Urdu: عاصمہ جہانگیر, translit. ʿĀṣimah Jahāṉgīr; born 27 January 1952 in Lahore) is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She is widely known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers‘ Movement and serves as the trustee at the International Crisis Group.
As an activist, Jahangir was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq. She was again put under house arrest in November 2007 after the imposition of 2007 Pakistani martial law. After serving as one of the leaders of the Lawyers‘ Movement, she became Pakistan’s first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
She has co-chaired South Asia Forum for Human Rights and was the vice president of International Federation for Human Rights. She served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief from August 2004 to July 2010. She also served on the U.N. panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations by the Sri Lankan authorities.
Jahangir is the recipient of several awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award (along with Edward Snowden), 2010 Freedom Award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1995 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights. She was awarded an Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France. Her prominent writings include The Hudood Ordinance: A Divine Sanction? and Children of a Lesser God.