Hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz labour migrants seek opportunities in Russia where they fall target to retaliation of vigilante citizens who find offence in the presence of alien labourers in their homeland. Vigilantism also takes place within this migrant ‘community’ where male Kyrgyz labour migrants engage in retaliation on female migrants over perceived offences such as dating non-Kyrgyz men. On several occasions between 2011 and 2016 videos featuring honour beating of female labour migrants by fellow countrymen shook the internet. The selected case illustrates vulnerabilities experienced by migrants due to xenophobia and hostility of the host state, as well as additional layers of vulnerabilities linked to gendered biases that ‘travel’ across borders along with compatriots in migration. The study argues that offline structures, norms, biases, violence, and stigma not only reincarnate online, where they culminate in vigilante acts, but consequently, they re-enter the offline discourse and go through further normalization and justification.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Digital divides, Digital vigilantism, Labour migrants, Layers of vulnerabilities
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i2.1927, hdl.handle.net/1765/119171
Journal Media and Communication
Citation
Gabdulhakov, R. (Rashid). (2019). In the bullseye of vigilantes: Mediated vulnerabilities of kyrgyz labour migrants in Russia. Media and Communication, 7(2 Refugee Crises Disclosed), 230–241. doi:10.17645/mac.v7i2.1927