Thursday, December 9

Enes Kanter criticizes China’s human rights record, calling on leaders and athletes | Boston Celts

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter redoubled his denunciation of the Chinese government by posting a video that draws attention to human rights abuses suffered by the Uighur people and other Muslim minorities. Kanter extended his criticism of Middle Eastern leaders and current and former Muslim athletes, including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and former boxing champion Amir Khan, equating their silence with complicity.

Kanter, who earlier this week spoke about what he called “cultural genocide” in Tibet and called China’s leader Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator,” shared another video on Friday focusing on Uighurs in the Xinjiang region. from the country.

“Right now, as I say this message, torture, rape, forced abortions, sterilizations, family separations, arbitrary detentions, concentration camps, political re-education, forced labor… all of this is happening right now to more than 1.8 million Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region in northwest China, ”said Kanter, who wore a ‘Freedom for Uyghurs’ T-shirt as he spoke to the camera.

“The Chinese government has been taking radical measures to repress the Uighur people simply because they embrace their own religion, their own culture, language, history and identity,” he continued. “The Uyghur region has become an open-air prison and surveillance state where freedoms are non-existent for the Uyghur people. The Chinese government has sent Uighurs along with Kazakhs, Tajiks, and other Muslim groups to concentration camps simply for applying for a passport, texting someone abroad, or believing in anything that doesn’t align with the Party’s agenda. Chinese Communist “.

Kanter pointed to Pakistani Prime Minister Imram Khan, King Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, saying: “It is shameful and sad how they have decided to prioritize the money and business with China for human rights. They call themselves Muslims, but they are just using it to show off. You just don’t care about people. “

Additionally, Kanter mentioned several current and former Muslim athletes, including Salah, Khan, and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “Why are you staying silent?” I ask. “Say something. Do something. Speak up. Your silence and your inaction is complicity.”

Kanter ended the three-minute video with an address directed at Xi.

“The ruthless dictator of China, Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China, I am calling you right now in front of the whole world. Close the slave labor camps and free the Uighur people. Stop the genocide now. “

On Thursday, the NBA’s Chinese broadcast partner Tencent deleted all the highlights and live broadcasts of Celtics games after Kanter attacked government policy in Tibet. That video prompted a reprimand from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which accused him of “pursuing influence.”

Kanter, who is Turkish, has long been a critic of his country’s authoritarian leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This week’s comments came after Kanter met with Tibetans at a community center in New York.

Previously, Kanter, who was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, said he was left out of Turkey’s national team for EuroBasket 2015 due to his political beliefs, a claim denied by the coach of the national team, Ergin Ataman.

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