I wanted to share a letter received from one of our giving partners, International Justice Mission. This is posted with permission from International Justice Mission.Your patronage and support of The Links Card helped make this happen.
We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity in 2016 from partners like you. It is a deep encouragement to our team to have so many faithful, compassionate friends in this fight for justice. Thank you for providing freedom, hope, and rescue!
I didn’t want you to miss this story about a landmark slavery conviction in India from last month, because your faithful support made it all possible. The case took three years of testifying and waiting, and this past Christmas Eve, the court reached a strong verdict.
Three years ago, traffickers deceived 14 men and women and attempted to enslave them in a brick kiln in India. The group eventually realized what was happening and escaped the slave owners.
However, two of the men, Dialu and Nilambar, were quickly recaptured. They were held captive, starved, taunted, and tortured as punishment for their attempted escape.
Then, late one night, the henchmen threatened to kill Dialu and Nilambar and gave them a choice: lose your head, your right leg, or your hand.
I can only imagine the fear these men must have felt at that moment. Dialu remembers thinking, “This is the point I am going to die.” Dialu and Nilambar both lost hands at their wrist that night.
Miraculously, the men escaped again, seeking medical help. Local NGOs and the media learned about their story and they were then referred to IJM for help. And because you send us to defend victims of slavery, the men finally had an advocate.
Your gifts sent us to fight for Dialu and Nilambar for three years by supporting local public prosecutors and their legal case. And finally, this December, eight traffickers were sentenced to life imprisonment for their violent crimes. This is the strongest sentence ever in an Indian slavery case.
Local officials are hopeful that this long sentence will send a strong message to other criminals in the community: slavery in India will not be tolerated. This is a powerful milestone in our fight to see that people are never enslaved in the first place!
Over the last three years, donors like you also equipped us to care for Dialu, Nilambar, and their families. You provided the urgent medical care they needed, and helped their families rebuild. In fact, both men graduated from IJM’s aftercare program in August 2016.
Please do keep these families in your prayers. Sadly, Nilambar passed away suddenly just a few months after the graduation ceremony from a medical condition. We are grateful that he lived these last few years in freedom, but were deeply grieved by his death. Dialu and his family continue to move forward.
William, thank you so much for sending us to strongly defend slavery survivors in court, and to walk with families towards restoration. Your gifts help us persevere as we pursue justice and healing. We are so very grateful for you and the freedom you make possible.
Senior Manager, Partnerships