Voices from Xinjiang: Untold Stories from China’s Gulag State

These stories originally published on believermag.com were recorded in Almaty by Ben Mauk, a travel writer and journalist based in Berlin, in collaboration with the Atajurt volunteer-run human rights group. In 2018, Ben began to travel to Kazakhstan to interview the family members of Xinjiang’s prisoners and disappeared. He also interviewed former detainees who described their own experiences. Most had crossed from China into Kazakhstan in the weeks, months, and years before their meeting, either by applying for residency and citizenship or by escaping across the border. The speakers have nevertheless chosen to use their own names and the names of their relatives, despite the risks to the family members still in China. In doing so, they hope to pressure the Chinese government to reconsider its policy of mass detention in Xinjiang.