NBA’s Enes Kanter Won’t Back Down on Calls for ‘Heartless Dictator of China’ to ‘Free the Uyghur People’

Enes Kanter
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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is doubling down on his attack on China’s “brutal dictators,” this time issuing a call for them to stop oppressing the country’s minority Uyghur population.

Last week, Kanter directed his criticism at China for its horrific treatment of the people of Tibet with an October 20 video in which he took the red Chinese to task and accused China of committing “cultural genocide” against Tibetans. His video resulted in quick reprisal by the Chinese government as Boston Celtics games were immediately deleted from Tencent, China’s NBA broadcast partner.

This weekend, Kanter, a native of Turkey, doubled down on his criticism of China, despite what it is costing the NBA. On Friday, Kanter released another video calling for China to stop oppressing the Uyghur people.

“Right now, as I speak this message, torture, rape, forced abortions, sterilizations, family separations, arbitrary detentions, concentration camps, political reeducation, forced labor,” Kanter said in the latest video. “This is all happening right now to more than 1.8 million Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region in northwestern China.”

He added:

Uyghurs are a Turkish Muslim ethnic group, native to Uyghur region,” Kanter continued. “The Chinese government has been taking sweeping measures to crackdown on the Uyghur people simply because they embrace their own religion, their own culture, language, history and identity. The Uyghur region has become an open-air prison and surveillance state where freedoms are non-existent for the Uyghur people.

Kanter also noted that the Chinese are enslaving Kazakhs, Tajiks, and other Muslim minorities in Chinese concentration camps.

“It is so disappointing,” Kanter continued, “that the governments and leaders of Muslim majority countries are staying silent while my Muslim brothers and sisters are getting killed, raped, and tortured.”

Kanter wondered aloud why so many Muslim world leaders were “remaining silent” on the abuse of Muslims in China. The other world leaders Kanter criticized included Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the chief ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

“It’s shameful and sad how you’ve decided to prioritize money and business with China over human rights. You call yourselves Muslims, but you are just using that for show. You simply do not care about people,” Kanter said.

This is the second time Kanter has defied the NBA and spoken out about China’s abuses. In his video last week, Kanter said that Tibet’s human rights are “non-existent” thanks to Chinese oppression.
“Brutal dictator of China Xi Jinping, I have a message for you and your henchmen … free Tibet,” Kanter exclaimed in the video. “I am here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening in Tibet. Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan peoples’ basic rights and freedoms are non-existent.”

“They are not allowed to study and learn their language and culture freely. They are not allowed to travel freely. They are not allowed to access information freely. The Tibetan people are not even allowed to worship freely,” Kanter added. “For more than 70 years, Tibetan monks, nuns, intellectuals, writers … and many more have been detained, sent to political reeducation classes, subject to torture, lengthy interrogations, and even been executed simply for exercising the freedom that you and I take for granted.”

“Shame on the Chinese government. The Chinese dictatorship is erasing Tibetan identity and culture,” Kanter continued. “The cultural genocide in Tibet is so stifling that more than 150 people have burned themselves alive hoping that such a horrific act will raise awareness and attention towards the ongoing abuses within Tibet.”

“I cannot stay silent,” Kanter insisted.

Kanter has also been very outspoken against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist dictator of his homeland Turkey.

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