After calling out the Chinese government earlier in the week to draw attention to the situation in Tibet, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter turned it up a notch and blasted President Xi Jinping and Middle East leaders over the human rights abuses suffered by the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
“Right now as I speak this message, torture, rape, forced abortions, sterilizations, family separations, arbitrary detentions, concentration camps, political reeducation, forced labor … this is all happening right now to more than 1.8 million Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region in northwestern China,” Kanter said in a video posted to his Twitter account.
“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,” 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 Uyghurs along with Kazaks, Tajiks and other Muslims groups to concentration camps for simply applying for a passport, for texting someone overseas or for believing in anything that does not align with the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda.”
Turning his attention to leaders in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, UAE, and Iran, Kanter said “it’s shameful and sad how you have decided to prioritize money and business with China over human rights.
“You call yourself Muslims, but you are just using that for show,” he added. “You simply do not care about people.”
He closed by addressing the Chinese president directly.
“Heartless dictator of China, Xi Jinping, and the Communist Party of China, I’m calling you out right now in front of the whole world. Close down the slave labor camps and free the Uyghur people. Stop the genocide now.”
A truly courageous thing for Enes Kanter to do knowing how tied the NBA is to China. https://t.co/1TNRogB7nl— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 22, 2021
Enes has courage. And he speaks the truth. https://t.co/hcMKFanYxG— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 22, 2021
In response to Kanter's message about Tibet, Boston Celtics games were pulled from Chinese media.