fredag 19. april 2019

How Chinese internet trolls go after Beijing's critics overseas

Arslan Hidayat was at work when the trolls attacked. "My phone was going 'bring, bring, bring,'" said the 31-year-old English teacher. "I was like, What the hell's going on?" A Facebook page he helps run which focuses on the Uyghur ethnic minority was being flooded by thousands of comments in a targeted attack by nationalist Chinese trolls. Australian-born Hidayat lives with his wife and children in Istanbul, Turkey, which is home to a large Uyghur diaspora. Many of them have claimed in recent months that relatives in China have been swept up by the Communist Party's crackdown on the largely Muslim minority group in the country's far-western region of Xinjiang

Hidayat has just such a story. He has not heard from his father-in-law, Adil Mijit, a popular comedian and entertainer, for over five months. The family fears he is among the more than one million Uyghurs believed to be detained in a vast system of "re-education camps" established in Xinjiang.