26 Facts About Adrian Zenz


Adrian Nikolaus Zenz was born on 1974 and is a German anthropologist known for his studies of the Xinjiang internment camps and Uyghur genocide.


Adrian Zenz is a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an anti-communist think tank established by the US government and based in Washington, DC.


Adrian Zenz later received a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, with a doctoral thesis on minority education, job opportunities, and the ethnic identity of young Tibetans in western China.


Adrian Zenz was a lecturer in social research methodology at the European School of Culture and Theology, a joint venture between the Evangelical theological institution Akademie fur Weltmission and Columbia International University, where he advised doctoral students.


Adrian Zenz serves as an advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.


Adrian Zenz was one of the first researchers to have revealed the existence, size, and scope of these camps.


Since February 2018, Adrian Zenz has studied the mass detention of Uyghurs in internment camps in Xinjiang.


Adrian Zenz's work has been based on Chinese government budget plans, bidding papers, leaked documents, spreadsheets, and other official documents.


Adrian Zenz based this estimate on documents published by Istiqlal, a Turkey-based Uyghur exile media organization, which had reportedly been leaked by anonymous Chinese public security officials in the region, along with two reports on Muslim detention quotas by Shohret Hoshur for Radio Free Asia.


Adrian Zenz then extrapolated from these figures and incorporated information from former detainees and public Chinese government documents that gave indications of the sizes and numbers of the camps.


Later, in March 2019, Adrian Zenz provided a higher speculative estimate to the United Nations that 1.5 million Uyghurs had been detained in camps, saying that his number accounted for both the increases in the size and scope of detention in the region and public reporting on the stories of Uyghur exiles with family in internment camps.


In July 2020, Adrian Zenz wrote in Foreign Policy that his estimate had increased since November 2019, estimating that a total of 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities had been extrajudicially detained in what he described as "the largest incarceration of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust," arguing that the Chinese Government was engaging in policies in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.


Adrian Zenz has researched publicly available Chinese government documents that showed that the Chinese government has spent tens of millions of dollars since 2016 on a birth control surgery program that includes cash incentives for sterilization procedures.


Adrian Zenz's research showed that birth control violations are punishable by internment in the Xinjiang internment camps, a conclusion that has been corroborated by an Associated Press investigation, which found that women in Xinjiang were forcibly sterilized and subject to forced abortions.


In June 2021, Adrian Zenz published a 28-page study in Central Asian Survey arguing that China has carried population control in Xinjiang with the explicit "long-term" intent to reduce population growth of the Uyghur ethnic minority.


Adrian Zenz published the Xinjiang Police Files, a collection of official police documents he received from anonymous hackers in May 2022.


In September 2020, Adrian Zenz authored a report that said that 500,000 Tibetans, mostly subsistence farmers and herders, were trained in the first seven months of 2020 in military-style training centres; According to BBC News, experts have said these centres "are akin to labour camps".


Adrian Zenz is a lapsed Catholic-turned-born-again Christian, and has stated that he feels "led by God" in his research on Chinese Muslims and other minority groups.


Adrian Zenz has been the target of a pro-Beijing disinformation campaign, according to US-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant.


Adrian Zenz's work has been described by the as delivering solid evidence for the extent of the repression that had only been previously known through anecdotal evidence.


Adrian Zenz has become the target of repeated cyber attacks, receiving many attempted hacking attacks via email from people posing as Uyghurs.


The United States banned imports of cotton from Xinjiang shortly after Adrian Zenz published a report describing widespread use of forced labor in the region.


The sanctions against Adrian Zenz prohibit him from entering the People's Republic of China and restrict his ability to do business with Chinese firms.


The article stated that Adrian Zenz had analyzed job postings for security personnel in Tibet, compared them with data on self-immolation by Tibetans, and then used that data to draw his conclusions about the Chinese government's policies of repression.


Barnett criticized the methods used in creating a report written by Adrian Zenz and published in September 2020 by the Jamestown Foundation, writing that the report had not been peer-reviewed prior to publication, did not refer to the findings of other Tibet researchers, and had not been independently verified by field research.


Barnett criticized the timing of and media coverage surrounding the report's publication, arguing that it had been "coordinated with a prominent media campaign" and that prominent newspapers have misrepresented the report by overstating Adrian Zenz's conclusions regarding the existence of labor camps in Tibet.