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Press Release

December 11, 2008

Help End Impunity in India: Donate to Ensaaf Today

(California) Because people like you gave to Ensaaf last year, we published a groundbreaking report with Human Rights Watch that impacted a key case in India, giving more families a chance at compensation for the murder of their loved ones. This report was covered in over 54 newspapers worldwide, putting government officials such as former Punjab police chief KPS Gill on the defensive.

However, Indian institutions refuse to identify the responsible officers or investigate disappearances and killings throughout Punjab. Only a fraction of the estimated tens of thousands of disappearances and killings have been documented. Further, none of the major architects of these crimes have been held accountable.

Your Support Now is Critical

We ask you to donate to Ensaaf today. Your support at this juncture is critical to building a legacy of truth and justice in India:

  • The Punjab cases have reached the higher courts and will set national precedents. These cases take years to litigate, and require constant support as government officials attempt to obstruct and delay justice.
  • Key evidence in the form of survivor testimony is lost each year as survivors die, memories fade, and documents are destroyed. We must capture the evidence before it is lost forever.

We need your support to meet these challenges and prevent the government from covering up and getting away with abuses.

Ensaaf's Commitment

Ensaaf is the only full-time organization dedicated to ending impunity and achieving justice for mass state crimes in Punjab. In over four years of operation, Ensaaf has established an international reputation for innovative and effective advocacy by integrating rigorous documentation work and survivor outreach with legal strategies.

Every dollar you donate goes towards investigating and documenting disappearances and killings, litigating cases in India's courts, and organizing survivors to advocate for their rights:

  • $12/month helps document one case of disappearance or extrajudicial killing each month.
  • $125/month or $1500 provides six months of legal fees for a top human rights attorney in one legal case in the High Court.
  • $8000 supports one full-time fieldworker in Punjab and his expenses for the whole year.

We further leverage your donation by coordinating with our extensive international advisory network that provides significant time and resources on joint projects. Our partners include:

Human Rights Watch Physicians for Human Rights REDRESS Benetech Center for Human Rights & Global Justice Human Rights Program: Harvard Law School

Your support has helped us establish Ensaaf as experts on human rights abuses in Punjab. US and Canadian government agencies consult Ensaaf regarding human rights issues in Punjab. Your support not only enables us to provide high quality work, but also build a strong institution committed to systems development, financial accountability, and program evaluation.

Selected Accomplishments & Awards

Below is a selection of projects that Ensaaf has worked on during the past four years:

  • Groundbreaking Reports: Release of a major joint report, video testimonials, and photo essay with the world's largest human rights organization, Human Rights Watch;
  • Thousands of Abuses Documented: Collection of documentation on thousands of killings from government records and newspaper archives;
  • Five Officers Convicted: Crucial litigation support in the murder case of human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra, leading to the affirmation of convictions of police officers and the awarding of five life sentences;
  • International Experts Engaged: Organization of a groundbreaking documentation study of torture and trauma suffered by families of the disappeared by international experts from Physicians for Human Rights and the NYU/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture;
  • Key Cases Advanced: Crucial litigation support to the Punjab mass cremations case, the first case of mass state crimes proceeding before the Indian Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission, introducing the concept of reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence in human rights jurisprudence in India.

Ensaaf's staff has also received key awards, recognizing our innovative model for ending impunity in India.

Ensaaf works to implement the idea that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago on December 10, 1948. We need your support to continue to fight for every survivor who has endured human rights violations at the hands of Indian security forces.

Thank you for your support!