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Press Release

June 26, 2016

10K in 10 Days:

Matching Campaign Launches on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

(Pleasanton, CA)

Today, on June 26, to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture and enable Ensaaf to continue its work documenting gross human rights abuses in Punjab, a generous donor has offered to match $10,000 raised by Ensaaf. Our goal is to raise 10K in 10 days, by July 5.

Over the past 12 years, Ensaaf has documented thousands of cases of torture, disappearances, and unlawful killings perpetrated by India's security forces between 1984 and 1995 in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. We are the only organization to have reached 12,000 villages, and need your support to continue this work and prepare the thousands of testimonies, thousands of photographs, and hundreds of hours of video footage we have collected.

The testimonies thoroughly document over twenty torture techniques used by Indian security forces, such as falanga, or beating on the soles of one’s feet; dislocation of joints; electric shocks; ghotna, or the rolling of iron or wooden logs over the body to crush muscles; and suspension by wrists using rope or cord.

Police whistleblower Satwant S. Manak described his torture to Ensaaf: “I can show you this scar [points to thigh] of my thighs being ripped open. There is no body part that wasn’t touched.” He recounted how security officials stretched his legs apart more than 180 degrees, rolled a heavy wooden log on his thighs while three police officers stood or sat atop it, and waterboarded him, among other methods.

Because Indian security forces have escaped accountability, torture remains rampant in Punjab. India has never ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and human rights groups have documented the extensive, systematic use of torture throughout the country.

Ensaaf stands with Manak and others who have suffered torture, disappearances, and unlawful killings at the hands of Indian security forces.

Your contribution has helped the voices of Punjab’s survivors reach and touch more hearts than ever. Please donate today and double your support as part of this generous matching campaign.

With warmth and appreciation,

The Ensaaf Team


Ensaaf is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Pleasanton, California. To learn more about Ensaaf’s work visit us at www.ensaaf.org. To speak with members of Ensaaf’s team, contact Pia Sawhney, Senior Associate at psawhney@ensaaf.org or reach us at info@ensaaf.org.

To donate to Ensaaf, please visit our website. Ensaaf is also recruiting firms to join our corporate matching program. If you or your company would like to host an open forum to discuss how to donate to Ensaaf, please contact us.

Thank you!