August 19, 2008 | Comments Off
Ensaaf’s blog is resuming after over a year’s hiatus. Stay tuned for coverage on Punjab human rights issues.
Here are some highlights from the past year:
In October 2007, Ensaaf and Human Rights Watch released a joint report, video testimonials, and photo essay. The report, Protecting the Killers, A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India, examines the challenges faced by victims and their relatives in pursuing legal avenues for accountability for the human rights abuses perpetrated by security forces. The report describes the near total failure of India’s judicial and state institutions to provide justice for victims’ families.
April 2008 marked the four year anniversary of Ensaaf. Some highlights in legal advocacy over the past 4 years include providing litigation support in the Punjab mass cremations case and the cases regarding the murder of human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra (the criminal case against six police officers and the High Court case filed against former police chief KPS Gill). All of this and more was reported in the latest newsletter by Ensaaf.
On November 21, 2007, Ensaaf met with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) in Geneva, Switzerland, to present general allegations (pdf) against India for its role in perpetrating enforced disappearances in Punjab. The allegations, as well as 32 individual cases jointly submitted by Ensaaf, REDRESS, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, are currently under consideration by the Working Group and were transmitted to the government of India in April.
In its December newsletter, Ensaaf reported how a killer of activist Jaswant Singh Khalra has been scheming his way out of jail, despite receiving a life sentence. As of December, Jaspal Singh had been released from jail 36 times, and had also received 7 weeks of parole. Read more about the convictions of the police officers in the Khalra murder case.
In February 2007, Ensaaf and Human Rights watch published an op-ed in The Asian Age reported that in February 2007, discussing the cost of ignoring human rights violations as Punjabi citizens went to the polls to elect a new government.