After Celtics games pulled in China, Enes Kanter continues to blast government for treatment of Uyghur people

"I am calling you out in front of the whole world."

Enes Kanter rejoined the Celtics this offseason. Michael Reaves/Getty Images via Bloomberg

Celtics center Enes Kanter, who has repeatedly advocated for Tibetan independence, called China’s Xi Jinping a “heartless dictator” Friday and implored him to “free” the Uyghur people.

He’s continuing to voice his opinion after Chinese broadcaster and NBA partner Tencent recently decided to not show Celtics games in China in response to comments Kanter made previously.

Kanter, in a tweet Friday afternoon, said Jinping, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is condoning a “genocide” that includes “torture, rape, forced abortions and sterilizations, family separations, arbitrary detentions, concentration camps, political reeducation, forced labor.”

“The Chinese government has been taking sweeping measures to crack down on the Uyghur people simply because they embrace their own religion, their own culture, language, history, and identity,” Kanter said.


The Uyghurs, a nomadic Turkic people native to China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, are at odds with the atheistic Chinese Communist Party.

The United States State Department has classified the forcible assimilation of the Uyghurs as a genocide. More than 1 million Uyghurs have reportedly been detained in reeducation camps for periods ranging from weeks to years, and China has drawn international condemnation in the process.

Kanter said everyone must spread the word to call on the Chinese government to free the Uyghur people and remove them from the camps.

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

He also encouraged fellow Muslim athletes to speak up and join him and said it’s imperative to do something rather than sit back.

Kanter, who wore “Free Tibet” sneakers when the Celtics faced the Knicks on Wednesday, has adamantly stated that Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people.

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