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Sikh News Ensaaf Project Highlights

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by kaur-1, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. kaur-1

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    Jul 10, 2006
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    Source: Ensaaf | Legal Advocacy

    Legal Advocacy

    [​IMG] “Justice will have failed unless the officials involved in such violations are vigorously and transparently prosecuted in a clear message that India does not tolerate human rights violations or excuse [them] because the perpetrators claim to be patriotic enough to break the law for national security.”
    — Brad Adams, Dead End in Punjab
    Ensaaf pursues justice for survivors of human rights abuses in Punjab. Ensaaf’s legal cases aim to hold accountable the primary architects of mass state crimes in Punjab and set precedent in India on the law of superior responsibility and reparations.

    Project Hightlights
    Murder of Human Rights Defender Jaswant Singh Khalra: Over eleven years ago, members of the Punjab police operating under KPS Gill abducted, tortured, and murdered Khalra because of his courageous work in exposing the disappearances, custodial deaths, and secret cremations of thousands of Sikhs in Punjab. In Fall 2005, Ensaaf provided legal assistance to the legal team in Khalra’s murder trial, leading to convictions of six mid-level officers. On May 1, Ensaaf, Human Rights Watch, Redress and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice issued a joint letter calling for the prosecution of former police chief Gill for his role in Khalra’s torture and murder. On September 6, 2006, Khalra’s widow Paramjit Kaur filed a legal petition calling for Gill’s investigation and prosecution, after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) refused to take any steps. Ensaaf drafted the petition's international law arguments on the doctrine of superior responsibility.

    Punjab Mass Cremations Case: Ensaaf works in partnership with the petitioner Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab to litigate and organize advocacy around the Punjab mass cremations case, which will set precedent on the redress of mass state crimes in India. Read Ensaaf's summary report on the case: India Burning the Rule of Law (pdf), as well as its updates on the proceedings before the Bhalla Commission of Inquiry. On October 24, 2005, PHR/Bellevue submitted their final report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in this case, after conducting a torture and trauma study organized by Ensaaf. On November 1, 2005, Human Rights Watch wrote to the NHRC urging it to order a full accounting of the systematic abuses that occurred in Punjab, determine liability after detailed investigations into the violations, and provide compensation to surviving family members based on a detailed understanding of the scope of violations suffered by each individual. On December 8, 2006, PHR/Bellevue responded to the NHRC order rejecting their report and attacking their credibility. Read Ensaaf's op-ed in the Boston Globe.

    Convention Against Torture: In November 2005, Ensaaf submitted an application for relief from extradition on behalf of Kulvir Singh Barapind to the US Secretary of State, under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Barapind's CAT application presented overwhelming evidence that he would be tortured by Indian officials if he was surrendered to India. On December 27, 2005, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law called on the United States Secretary of State to withhold extradition of any person who is more likely than not to be subjected to torture upon return. The CHRGJ submitted an extensive amicus letter (PDF, 1.6 MB) in support of the legal position taken by Barapind regarding US obligations under international and domestic law. In January 2006, Ensaaf submitted a communication to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture regarding Barapind’s case, securing the Rapporteur’s intervention. Ensaaf also secured the involvement of Congressman Chris Smith and his Professional Staff Sheri Rickert at the House Subcommittee on Global Human Rights. Further, Ensaaf negotiated and obtained a commitment from the US government to monitor the treatment of Barapind and act on any information of abuse. On June 19, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the Indian government to ensure that its security forces did not torture or mistreat Barapind.



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  3. Akashdeep Singh

    Akashdeep Singh
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    Oct 15, 2006
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    This is excellent sewa by Ensaaf. As a matter of fact, one of the co-directors
    of Ensaaf co-authored a report which made a person like Khushwant Singh
    change his views on Punjab issue.

    Khushwant Singh didn’t believe that Sardar Jaswant Singh Khalra was a
    human rights activist. However, after reading Reduced to Ashes: The
    Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab
    co-authored by Jaskaran Kaur, his
    dormant conscience suddenlywoke up and whispered, “These stories are
    spine-chilling, the Punjab police has to do some explaining.”

    Before this he defended the extra-judicial killings in Punjab by saying,
    police had no option but to take law into their own hands.” (..the
    statement made by Khushwant Singh at a press conference when he was
    travelling all over Punjab
    during the disturbance time with his favorite cop KPS Gill)

    Chardi Kala
    -Akashdeep Singh
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