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Press Release

May 22, 2009
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Ensaaf Marks Five Years of Working to
End Impunity and Achieve Justice

(California) We recognized the victory when Indian courts convicted five police officers in 2005, and upheld their convictions in 2007, for the murder of human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra.

 But we immediately thought: KPS Gill, the main architect of the atrocities, remains free. And we need to ensure that he is brought to justice.

Thank you for your support these five years, since our launch in April 2004. Your dedication to Ensaaf and survivors of gross human rights violations in Punjab, India, has led to the success of numerous groundbreaking projects and victories against injustice. However, we are far from done, and we are running out of time as survivors die and documents are lost or destroyed.

Download our new brochure (pdf), outlining Ensaaf's mission, people, work, and awards.
Our motivation is simple. Listen to what survivors are saying:

"I want a government that is accountable to its citizens. I should receive justice. [My son] was tortured to death. The responsible police officers should be punished."
–Mohinder Singh, father of Jugraj Singh

And this is what KPS Gill is saying:

Punjab's former police chief responded to an Ensaaf/Human Rights Watch report: "The charges against me are one thousand percent frivolous. They are totally baseless. In last 15 years, they brought such charges against me and other officers, but none of them could be proved." KPS Gill has not addressed any of the specific allegations against him. Gill also alleged that Ensaaf "backs terrorists."

Five Years of Victories and Innovative Advocacy

Over the past five years, our selected accomplishments include:

  • Five officers convicted in the murder trial of Jaswant Singh Khalra
  • Key cases advanced
  • International experts engaged for ground-breaking studies and litigation interventions
  • Thousands of abuses documented and analyzed empirically for the first time
  • Groundbreaking reports published

We have doubled our staff, recently hiring a new Program Assistant Christina Cusolito. We have also cultivated Boards of Directors and Advisors to include 14 preeminent experts from around the world in the field of human rights, law, NGO management, and media.

Here is what our partners are saying:

"Ensaaf's courageous work gives a voice to the disappeared and killed in Punjab, and proves that a few dedicated individuals can challenge powerful forces of impunity and hold them to account." –Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch

"Ensaaf is doing today in Punjab, what others had given up, bringing hope to victims and challenging perpetrators through critical legal inputs." –Rajvinder S. Bains, Punjab human rights attorney

We Need Your Continued Support

As fast as we are growing, we are fighting time:

  • Key cases have advanced to the higher courts.
  • Accused police officers continue to receive promotions.
  • Key evidence is lost each year as survivors die, memories fade, and documents are destroyed.

Our partnership with you has demonstrated that a focused vision combined with real resources can accomplish what many said was too difficult. To finish the job, we need more lawyers, more investigators and researchers, and a greater ability to reach and educate the international community. We have thousands of disappearances and unlawful killings to investigate, and numerous perpetrators to hold accountable for their crimes.

We thank you for your support, and ask you to start a recurring donation now. Together, let's build a world based on the rule of law and inviolability of human rights.