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.

Thirty-Five Years: Commemorating the Victims of Saka Nakodar

February 4, 2021 in Blog, Legal Advocacy, Press, Reports

35 years ago on February 4, 1986, India’s security forces shot and unlawfully killed four Sikh men participating in a peaceful religious procession and protest in Nakodar, Punjab.

For 35 years, the families have tirelessly fought for truth and justice to bring the perpetrators to account. Ensaaf stands in solidarity with the survivors and is inspired by their courage and perseverance.

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10 Reasons to Support Ensaaf

December 20, 2019 in Documentation, Legal Advocacy, Press, Reports

Ensaaf works to address impunity for crimes against humanity in Punjab, with strategies and methods that also impact other regions suffering from gross human rights violations. We already provide technical assistance to human rights defenders working in India and beyond. We provide litigation support to cases in India that will set precedent for the entire country. And we share our data and resources publicly, so any community can learn from our experiences. Our work is innovative, timely, and makes an impact in Punjab and beyond.

    Reason 10: We do 10x the work of other organizations with similar resources.
    Reason 9: We called out Sumedh Saini for atrocities. Next year, we’ll focus on Izhar Alam.
    Reason 8: Amar Kaur’s testimony and our Oral History Video Archive project.
    Reason 7: We recently documented the case of 18-year old Kulwant Singh. Every case matters.
    Reason 6: We are creating a permanent and thorough human rights archive.
    Reason 5: We impacted key legal cases.
    Reason 4: Our work is essential for survivors to be heard.
    Reason 3: We have a proven track record and great partners.
    Reason 2: We take charge of our own narrative.
    Reason 1: We must protect the human rights of the world.

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Ensaaf Launches Ground-Breaking Effort to Name Chief Perpetrators

August 30, 2019 in Documentation, Legal Advocacy, Press

On August 30, 2019, the International Day of the Disappeared, Ensaaf released its first in-depth perpetrator dossier of former Punjab Police Chief Sumedh Singh Saini. Our dossier includes a visualization identifying his victims, command history, awards, and known promotions. The dossier also includes news articles detailing a key legal case and disciplinary hearings, among other materials.

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Map the Killings & Disappearances; Study 5100+ Victim Profiles

August 29, 2018 in Press

On the International Day of the Disappeared, Ensaaf invites you to view the first-of its-kind interactive data visualization site, mapping victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Punjab, India.

The interactive site compiles over 5,000 cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions perpetrated by India’s security forces, based on data collected over the past decade through survivor interviews. These cases can be viewed geospatially to observe trends across time and space, as well as through a gallery and individual victim profiles.

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Rights Groups Call on UN Expert to Intervene in Torture of British National

December 18, 2017 in Press

UN expert urged to call on India to immediately investigate alleged torture of Jagtar Singh Johal while in police custody.

Human rights organisations REDRESS and Ensaaf today have filed an urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture in the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, “Jaggi”, a British man who has been detained without charge in India since 4 November 2017.

Mr. Johal asserts that during 5 to 9 November, Indian police tortured him during interrogation by means of electric shocks to his ears, nipples, and genitals, forcing his limbs into painful positions, and forced sleep deprivation. Mr. Johal’s lawyers in India report that at a secret court hearing on 10 November, witnesses observed that Mr. Johal had severe difficulty in standing or walking, and had to be assisted by police officers as he entered and left the courtroom.

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Let the World Know about Charanjit Kaur’s 10-Year Old Son

April 24, 2017 in Press

Imagine sending your son to school one day, only for the police to gun him down. On November 14, 1989, Charanjit Kaur’s ten year old son Gurjit Singh went to school, never to return home alive.

The story of Charanjit Kaur is the story of many mothers in Punjab who saw their families destroyed during the Decade of Disappearances. Watch Charanjit Kaur’s video, as she revisits the events of that fateful day, describing in detail the killing of her young son and the effects on her family. She further shares her personal perspectives on justice and the Indian government.

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