Chinese social media sources leave no room for denial: Documenting human rights violations in Xinjiang

Timothy A. Grose


This article draws almost exclusively from Chinese-language social media sites with connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to present the grim reality faced by Uyghurs and Kazakhs. Applying a “research search” approach to digital ethnography, this essay presents a comprehensive picture of state violence in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that is not filtered by Western media, taken hostage by geopolitics, or simply dismissed as fabrication by the Chinese party-state. Focusing on mass incarcerations and their devasting impacts on the region’s Turkic communities, I demonstrate how county-level social media accounts and cadre blogs describe how the party-state detained Uyghurs and Kazakhs without due process, held them in inhumane conditions, separated scores of children from their parents, and imposed policies to destroy ethno-religious identities. These sources present irrefutable evidence of gross human rights violations in Xinjiang.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/721745