Dr Adrian Zenz, one of the world’s leading scholars on China, has been become the latest target of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Zenz, who is instrumental in exposing China’s human rights violations against minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, is now facing legal suits from Chinese companies.
According to the reports, several enterprises and individuals in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have decided to sue German anthropologist Adrian Zenz for his role in bringing to light the Chinese government’s campaign of repression and persecution directed against ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. The state-backed companies and individuals in Xinjiang have labelled Zenz a ‘rumourmonger’.
The Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times reported that the local people said that Zenz spread “forced labour” and other rumours related to Xinjiang, which damaged their reputation and caused them to suffer economic losses. They have filed a civil lawsuit with a local court in Xinjiang, demanding that Zenz apologize, restore their reputation and compensate them for their losses.
Who is Adrian Zenz?
Adrian Zenz, a German researcher and an expert on China, has done extensive research on the human rights violation carried out by the Communist Party of China on its minorities in several provinces. He has studied the plight of the Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities living in China.
In 2017-2018, Dr Zenz’s analysis played a significant role in exposing the Chinese government’s repression and mass internment campaign against ethnic Uyghur persons in Xinjiang. In 2019, Dr Zenz had also testified before the US Congress about state exploitation of the incarcerated Uyghur persons.
Zenz had carried out a detailed investigation for years to reveal the ugly truth about how the Chinese government treats the Uighurs residing in occupied East Turkistan.
A few months ago, he had released a report titled “Coercive Labour in Xinjiang: Labour Transfer and Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton”, which showed how China had forced more than half a million Uighur and other ethnic minority labourers from Xinjiang to pick cotton by hand.
According to Zenz, the Chinese Communist Party, under the excuse of ‘poverty alleviation’, has carried out coercive state-mandated labour transfer programs that forced Uyghurs to pick cotton by hand, despite cotton-picking being mechanised in other parts of China. The report also showed that in 2018, three regions in Xinjiang alone provided 570,000 Uighur and ethnic minority labourers.
In March 2021, Adrian Zenz released another report, titled “Coercive Labour and Forced Displacement in Xinjiang’s Cross-Regional Labor Transfer Program”, that provides new evidence of Chinese human rights violations. The report alleged that the CPC was carrying out forced labour transfers not just for economic purposes, but it was trying to force the Uyghurs and other ethnic labourers to move away from their homeland and traditional occupation. The Chinese government wanted to reduce the population density of Uighurs in Xinjiang, the research paper said.
China carried out crimes against Humanity, says research by Dr Zenz
As per international criminal law experts, the Chinese government’s labour transfer scheme meets the criteria for ‘Crimes Against Humanity of Forcible Transfer and Persecution’ as defined under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The reports published by Dr Zenz has been instrumental in exposing China’s Human rights violation against its own population. The United States, Canada and the Netherlands have taken a strong note of these new studies and classified the CCP’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide against the Uyghur people and other ethnic minorities.
Perhaps, the severe backlash has unnerved the CCP that has in response chosen to act against Dr Zenz and many other such scholars and institutions that are trying to expose the truth.
We had earlier reported in detail regarding how China has been exploiting Uyghur slave labour to supply cotton to the Western markets.