Dear friends and supporters,
The Xinjiang Victims Database, based at shahit.biz, is a platform designed to collect and store records of people detained in Xinjiang's present reality, which ranges from confiscated documents and movement restrictions to concentration camps, police detention centers, and prisons, as well as the separation of children from their detained parents. In addition to documenting these individual victims publicly and precisely - and thereby making them more "expensive" for the authorities to abuse - our database is also committed to developing a number of counter-surveillance and analytical tools, in the hopes of bringing as much transparency to the region as possible. This includes the documentation of facilities where known victims are/were held, the computation of detention rates for individual villages and neighborhoods, and the constant translation/accumulation of primary-source evidence, among other things.
At the moment, our database employs around ten people, the majority on a part-time basis, to work both on adding new victims and on general research/development. Many have significant expertise in the topic, either by virtue of being from Xinjiang, having worked with survivors of the incarcerations, or having lived in the region for significant periods of time. Combined with this are a great number of volunteer hours, which allows us to operate at very low costs, putting in around five hundred to a thousand hours of effort each month in return for around $5000 of monthly costs. Any amount that you can donate towards this helps us run smoothly and efficiently, so that we can keep doing what we are committed to doing and what we do best.
Gene A. Bunin (curator)
About the organizer (per GoFundMe's request):
Gene A. Bunin is an independent scholar who had spent ~5 years in Xinjiang, where he researched the Uyghur language. After leaving China in May 2018 because of the worsening political climate, he temporarily settled in Almaty, Kazakhstan, getting involved in documentation aimed at exposing the current human rights catastrophe in Xinjiang. Though no longer in the region, he is now continuing his work remotely and focusing all of his waking hours on the development, populating, and management of the Xinjiang Victims Database.
As the "manager" of the database, he is directly responsible for organizing the work tasks for the various staff and volunteers, and interacts with them directly on a daily basis - taking the funds raised here and sending them as salary, via PayPal or bank transfer, to the individuals doing the database work.