Diaspora Uighurs Continue Online Activism Against Crackdown in Xinjiang

Twitter user @SamiraImin’s April 20 post in the #HearUyghurs campaign.

By Asim Kashgarian
April 27, 2020 08:01 PM

WASHINGTON - When Halmurat Harri Elsoy learned in spring 2018 that his parents were detained in China’s internment camps, he turned to the only action he could use to fight for his parents in Xinjiang: harnessing the power of social media.  

“In the beginning I feared China’s retaliation, but after both my parents being detained and repeatedly seeing China denying the detention of Uighurs, I thought I had nothing to lose,” Elsoy, a 35-year-old doctor exiled to Finland, told VOA.  

For nearly two years, Elsoy has continuously used social media to organize the Uighur diaspora community and raise awareness about the plight of Uighurs, a majority Turkic ethnic group based in China’s northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang. His parents were released in December 2018, and he says he is committed to continue his online social activism until Chinese authorities change their policies.