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The latest news and updates from Ensaaf.

Double Your Donation: They Have Not Disappeared

August 30, 2021 in Blog, Community, Documentation, Legal Advocacy, Press, UN

Today, August 30, marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. On this day, we thank you for helping us ensure the names and stories of the victims live on.

Sukhminder Kaur holds onto the passport of her son, Sarabjit Singh, disappeared January 26, 1989, from his home when he was 17 years-old. Police barged into their home during wedding celebrations. She told Ensaaf, “No one has told me if my son is alive or not. I’m holding on to my own hopes, if someone tries to tell me that he is not, I feel angry. If you see something with your own eyes only then can you find peace. Like I told you before, he was precious.”

Victim passport in hand

More than 30 years have passed, and she has not received truth or justice for the disappearance of her son. As the United Nation states, the families of victims “alternate between hope and despair, wondering and waiting, sometimes for years, for news that may never come.”

Ensaaf  stands in solidarity with victims of disappearances and unlawful killings in Punjab and throughout the world. Thank you for your financial support these past two weeks, helping us reach our goal of $30,000. Your contribution will help us create an undeniable and permanent record of India’s atrocity crimes.


Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive will serve as a permanent, powerful, interactive tool to educate the global community, complementing Ensaaf’s data site on Crimes Against Humanity.

Help bring their voices to the entire world!

Double Your Donation: Steady and Unwavering

August 27, 2021 in Blog, Community, Legal Advocacy, Press

We stand with every victim and survivor, dedicated to seeking and speaking the truth. There can be no bystanders in state abuse.

Over 15 years ago, Ensaaf embarked on a journey to identify and capture every testimony of disappearance and unlawful killing in Punjab from the Decade of Disappearances. The initiative aimed to counter state denials, expose the widespread and systematic extent of the abuses, erode the moral authority of perpetrators, and bring to light the application of repressive laws in India.

That work feeds our data visualization site Mapping Crimes Against Humanity in Punjab. We still have much more information to prepare and share, from information on officials who perpetrated the killings, to detailed summaries of each case. Our forthcoming oral history video archive, Testimonies of Truth, is the latest development in this unprecedented undertaking.

Throughout the past decade, our work has been steady and unwavering as the world around us suffered other wars, polarizing presidents, and a global pandemic, among other crises.

We could not have done this without you. We ask you to continue to support us, so that we can ensure each story is honored and shared.


Survey worker with paperwork in hands

Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive will serve as a permanent, powerful, interactive tool to educate the global community, complementing Ensaaf’s data site on Crimes Against Humanity.

Help bring their voices to the entire world!

Double Your Donation: Listen to Hardeep Kaur’s Story

August 24, 2021 in Blog, Community, Legal Advocacy, Press

Hardeep Kaur’s daughter says, “I didn’t get my father’s love.”

We have an incredible opportunity to raise $30,000 by August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared. Every dollar you give will be matched, 100%.

Watch Hardeep Kaur share the impact of the Decade of Disappearances on her children. Indian security forces disappeared her husband Charat Singh. His daughter was born two months after they disappeared him: She says to her siblings, “Father picked you up, gave you love. I didn’t get my father’s love.”

Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive will house hundreds of complete testimonies, as well as thematic clips. Clips will center on the following themes: About the victim, Disappearance, Extrajudicial execution, Justice & accountability, Persecution of family, Reflections, and Torture & prior persecution.

This human rights video archive will be the first and largest repository of video testimonials from surviving families of the “Decade of Disappearances.” Please support us today.



Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive will serve as a permanent, powerful, interactive tool to educate the global community, complementing Ensaaf’s data site on Crimes Against Humanity.

Help bring their voices to the entire world!

Double Your Donation: Amplify the Testimonies of Truth

August 19, 2021 in Blog, Community, Legal Advocacy, Press

Thank you for your support in helping us build Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive of over 200 survivor interviews, thematic clips, and oral histories, exploring key human rights themes and survivor perspectives.

Over the next 12 days, we have an incredible opportunity to raise $30,000 by August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared.

Today, as an example of the survivor interviews that will fill the video archive, we release the testimony of Gurbachan Singh, 70 years old at the time of interview. Gurbachan Singh shares the torture, illegal detentions, and unlawful killing of his brother Khunda Singh, as well as the torture and persecution suffered by himself and his family.

They did not give him back to us. We have no keepsakes. We faced a lot of troubles, even on our bodies in countless ways.

My son and daughter-in-law also died because of this. My wife also died because of police beatings. 

-Gurbachan Singh

Help us amplify the voice of Gurbachan Singh and bring his testimony to the entire world!



Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive will serve as a permanent, powerful, interactive tool to educate the global community, complementing Ensaaf’s data site on Crimes Against Humanity.

Help bring their voices to the entire world!

Double Your Donation: Support Testimonies of Truth

August 16, 2021 in Blog, Community, Legal Advocacy, Press

Today, Ensaaf needs your help to build Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive of over 200 survivor interviews, thematic clips, and oral histories, exploring key human rights themes and survivor perspectives.

This human rights video archive will be the first and largest repository of video testimonials from surviving families of the “Decade of Disappearances.”

Over the next 15 days, we have an incredible opportunity to raise $30,000 by August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared. Generous donors will match the first $15,000 raised, dollar for dollar.


Balwinder Singh

Who was Balwinder Singh?

I never forget him. I always think of him. On the day I began construction on this home, I thought, “I wish he was standing next to me today and I had his support.”

On any day, sad or happy, I always think of him, wishing he could celebrate with us. Our family was very poor. So much so that even for our education, my mother borrowed money from her family to pay our fees. Because he was born into poverty, he was determined to stand on his own two feet…So, he worked in electronics, delivered mail, and worked at the dairy in the morning. This is how he made ends meet for his family.

Manohar Singh

What were Manohar Singh’s last moments like?

He told me, “They cut my legs apart. [They] cut open my legs with a cutter, and put hot peppers in [the wounds]. They humiliated [me] a lot.” He was tortured a lot. He was beaten very badly. He was unable to sit up or even stand.

…I was put in one room and he was put in another room. For about 15 to 20 days, they kept us separated like this. His room was next to me and we could hear each other’s voices. We spoke with one another a little.

When I would ask him, he would say, “I have been beaten very badly and they are going to kill me….I am begging them to kill me, but not to kill you as you are a child.”

Talvinder Singh

Memories of a Father

In 1993, the police took [my father] from our home and killed him. After that, we had no one to help us. Our life has been very difficult. No one has listened to us. I was around 13 to 14 years old when the police abducted my father from our house.

By killing my father, he [policeman] didn’t finish any of my family members. But, he did ruin the families of the poor individuals in the village. The village could always rely on the fact that “Bhai” was around. Today, if people get together or there is an issue to discuss, people recall that “Bhai” used to be around. Even today, the world remembers him.


Testimonies of Truth: A Video Archive will serve as a permanent, powerful, interactive tool to educate the global community, complementing Ensaaf’s data site on Crimes Against Humanity.

Help bring their voices to the entire world!

Published In The Wire: Letter Supporting Indian Farmers & Condemning Government Abuses

February 15, 2021 in Blog, Community, Legal Advocacy, Press

We’re writing to share a letter we co-authored with Arjun Sethi. We’re very proud of this intervention.

This is the first open, public letter from a coalition to President Biden about the farmers’ protest. It also fills a gap among the statements that have been circulating, as it highlights the connection between the anti-farmer bill, recent authoritarian laws passed by Modi, and the culture of impunity that Sikhs know all too well.

The decision to limit the letter to South Asian civil and human rights lawyers was intentional. We want this to be a call-to-action to many sectors across society, including philanthropists, journalists, academics, environmentalists, and public intellectuals, urging them to speak up and challenge India’s attack on human rights and democratic norms.

The letter is being directed to senior U.S. officials and lawmakers as well, and will allow for further engagement across government.

We’re very proud that The Wire published it. They’re one of the most prominent, independent media outlets in India, and the founder is currently facing sedition charges for covering the protest.

Please read and share.

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A Song to Remember

May 31, 2015

On the 31st anniversary of the Indian Army assault on the Harmandir Sahib complex, Ensaaf releases A Song to Remember. Through A Song to Remember, Manbir Singh Mand and Jatinderpal Singh pay tribute to their three uncles, killed by Indian security forces during the Decade of Disappearances in Punjab (1984-1995).

The Hill Publishes Ensaaf Article

January 26, 2015

(Pleasanton, CA)

Dear Human Rights Supporter,

As President Obama visits India, The Hill has published an article by Ensaaf co-founder and co-director Sukhman Dhami calling on the U.S. to engage India on its poor human rights record. India has done little to redress widespread and systematic violations, especially in resource rich states and regions populated with religious and ethnic minorities. The U.S. can no longer ignore these violations and must encourage India to end impunity for gross human rights violations.

The Hill is a premiere U.S. political website read by the White House and more lawmakers than any other site, informing policy, politics, and elections.

To ensure that more people read this article, please:

Share the article via Facebook and e-mail,
Share the article on Twitter, and
Comment on the article.

Help spread the message that India's human rights violations will not be ignored. Let's make this the most shared article on The Hill.

Thank you!

New Movie: Seeking Ensaaf on Human Rights Day

December 10, 2014

Today, on Human Rights Day, we share this documentary to show you how your support helps us document abuses on the ground. Seeking Ensaaf was filmed by Andrew Heskett, Ryan Westra, and David Thompson, recipients of the Sikh Scholarship Program at Chapman University, in August 2013. It follows Ensaaf field workers as they document a case of extrajudicial killing in Punjab.

Ensaaf, The Sikh Coalition, and Human Rights Watch Urge President Obama To Support Justice for 1984 Massacres

November 3, 2014

Ensaaf, in partnership with The Sikh Coalition and Human Rights Watch, sent a letter today to President Barack Obama, urging him to support justice for the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres, which claimed the lives of thousands of Sikhs throughout India 30 years ago.

Click the link to read the letter.

Watch Survivor Interviews, Days after November 1984

October 31, 2014

Thirty years have passed since the pogroms of Sikhs in India. During the first week of November 1984, police, politicians, and government leaders organized and implemented pogroms against Sikhs throughout the country. These massacres occurred ostensibly in response to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The news footage released today by Ensaaf, and recorded by the Movement Against State Repression, takes us to the refugee camps where survivors display raw wounds, search for missing loved ones, and share accounts of the killings.

Ensaaf Film Wins Award: Amnesty International Best Human Rights Short

September 19, 2014

Ensaaf’s film The Last Killing won the Amnesty International Best Human Rights Short award at the Isle of Wight Film Festival 2014. The Last Killing will also be screening at the UNSPOKEN Human Rights Film Festival in Utica, NY from October 2 to 4, 2014, creating further awareness about the Decade of Disappearances in Punjab, India.

A Labor of Love: In Memory of Kuljit Singh Dhatt

July 23, 2014

On the 25th anniversary of Kuljit Singh Dhatt’s custodial killing by the Punjab Police, Ensaaf presents A Labor of Love: Contesting Impunity, a multimedia tribute to the strength and resilience of one family and how they fought impunity for 25 years. This tribute includes a video based on eyewitness and family interviews, report, interactive timeline, and photo essay.

Ensaaf Featured on BBC

June 4, 2014

The BBC has highlighted Ensaaf’s work in a new article entitled “How Punjab’s missing thousands are being forgotten.” In this news story, Jastinder Khera reports from Amritsar on the case of Satwant Singh Manak, a family’s long wait for justice, and the Punjab government’s lack of action to end human rights abuses.

A Witness Among the Bodies: Surviving Bluestar

May 30, 2014

On the 30th Anniversary, Ensaaf presents an eyewitness account of the Indian Army assault on the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Punjab, from June 1 to June 6, 1984. This exclusive interview reveals how the Indian Army intentionally killed thousands of civilians and used excessive force during this assault.

Ensaaf Presents The Last Killing

May 23, 2014

Ensaaf is proud to present The Last Killing, an original documentary that chronicles police whistleblower Satwant Singh Manak’s fight for justice for the survivors of ten victims of unlawful killings. Today, May 23, marks 21 years since the Punjab Police filed false cases against Manak to punish him for standing up for human rights. On April 2, Ensaaf helped Manak file an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“The Last Killing”: A New Short Film by Ensaaf

October 24, 2013

Ensaaf is proud to announce the upcoming release of a new short film, The Last Killing, about a former policeman’s commitment to fight for justice. Satwant Singh Manak joined the Punjab Police with dreams of making his community safer. But in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Punjab Police terrorized its own citizens in the name of fighting an insurgency, committing systematic and wide scale torture, disappearances, and unlawful killings. Manak silently witnessed the torture and executions of 15 unarmed individuals at the hands of his fellow police officers. The last killing he witnessed was of Kulwant Singh, a teenager studying in 10th grade. This injustice and brutality awakened Manak. He quit his job and filed a case against his fellow police officers. That case covers ten of the victims.
His courage came at a great cost. The police tortured Manak, fatally tortured his father, and threatened his family, but Manak has continued the fight for justice for over 20 years.

Watch Another Punjab Policeman Speak Out about Human Rights Abuses

July 12, 2013

Last week, Punjab Police Sub-Inspector Surjit Singh publicly stated that former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Paramjit Singh Gill of Amritsar district ordered him to kill 83 men in faked encounters during the 1990s.

Surjit Singh's story is not a singular one. In this video, former Punjab Police officer Lakhwinder Singh describes his experiences in the police force, where he witnessed his colleagues performing torture. He himself narrowly escaped a faked encounter. Lakhwinder Singh describes, however, how the police did kill his father in a faked encounter.

India: Stop the Arbitrary Execution of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar

April 16, 2013

On April 15 and 16, 2013, a coalition of U.S.-based organizations wrote to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, urging them to call on the Government of India to halt the imminent execution of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar. The letters were signed by Ensaaf, Jakara Movement, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, Sikh Research Institute, United Sikhs, and Voices For Freedom.

Christian Science Monitor Publishes Ensaaf Op-Ed

March 29, 2013

On the 25th anniversary of India’s suspension of the right to life in Punjab, the Christian Science Monitor has published an op-ed article by Ensaaf Co-Founder and Co-Director Sukhman Dhami.

Joint Submission to UN Challenges India

January 11, 2012

In November 2011, Ensaaf partnered with international human rights organization REDRESS, to make a joint submission to the Universal Periodic Review on mass cremations, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings carried out in Punjab, India during the 1980s and 1990s. The Ensaaf/REDRESS joint submission discusses the failure of the Government of India to hold the individuals responsible for these violations to account and to provide victims with effective remedies and full reparation. It focuses on the mass cremations case.

Ensaaf Commemorates 25th Anniversary of 1984 Pogroms with BART Ad Campaign & Mercury News Op-Ed

November 2, 2009

On November 2, Ensaaf launched an ad campaign in the San Francisco Bay Area’s metro system, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the November 1984 pogroms of Sikhs in India. On the same day, the Mercury News also published Ensaaf’s op-ed discussing the anniversary of the pogroms and its continuing impact on India and even the Bay Area.

TIME Magazine Interviews Ensaaf: Help Move Nov. 1984 Awareness to the Homepage

October 29, 2009

Time Magazine, in an article released today, quoted Ensaaf Co-Director Jaskaran Kaur on the total lack of justice for survivors of the November 1984 pogroms of Sikhs in India.

New Statistical Analysis Points To Widespread Human Rights Violations by Indian Government Authorities in Punjab

January 26, 2009

Ensaaf and the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) released a report today presenting verifiable quantitative findings on mass disappearances and extrajudicial executions in the Indian state of Punjab, contradicting the Indian government's portrayal of the Punjab counterinsurgency as a successful and “humane” campaign.

India: Time to Deliver Justice for Atrocities in Punjab

October 18, 2007

The Indian government must take concrete steps to hold accountable members of its security forces who killed, “disappeared,” and tortured thousands of Sikhs during its counterinsurgency campaign in Punjab, Human Rights Watch and Ensaaf said in a new report released today.