The Chinese Communist Party has been facing criticism for suppressing the Uyghur community, Tibetans and Hong Kong.
Guwahati: Voices against the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are increasing worldwide, and last week Enes Kanter, an NBA athlete, called on the IOC to move the international sports extravaganza, which has been labelled as the ‘Genocide Games’ by people of conscience around the world.
“Kanter began taking human rights issues straight to the basketball court, starting the season wearing custom sneakers with messaging calling out Chinese President Xi Jinping as a tyrant who should not be allowed to host the upcoming Winter Olympics,” said a statement issued by Students for Free Tibet.
He has also called out Nike for their hypocrisy in using Uyghur forced labour and has continued to show allyship and support for Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Uyghurs, and all groups oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party, added the statement. On various occasions, Kanter has condemned China’s repression in Tibet and called for Tibet’s independence.
“My message to the Chinese government is Free Tibet! Tibet belongs to Tibetans. I’m here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening in Tibet under the Chinese government’s brutal rule. Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non-existent. They are not allowed to study and learn their language and culture freely. The Tibetan people are not even allowed to worship freely,” he asserted.
The day Kanter announced his support for the ‘No Beijing 2022’ campaign, he wore custom sneakers (running shoes) painted by artist Khenzom Alling. The sneaker showcase bloodied hands on the front with flags of the allied groups on the side, and the words read ‘No Rights No Games’.
“I was honored to paint his shoes and be a part of his ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the Chinese government’s terrible crimes against humanity, including the Uyghur genocide and brutal occupation of Tibet. As a Tibetan, I am accustomed to the struggle of my people being overlooked by mainstream media and public figures,” said Khenzom.
Meanwhile, everyone appreciated Kanter's courageous act of challenging Xi Jinping from the Tibetan communities in Dharamsala (India) to the Uyghur community in Washington DC. Lately, the Tibetan Parliament in exile released an official statement thanking Kanter for his solidarity action.
“Enes Kanter is the epitome of a principled athlete. We hope that his courageous act will inspire many others, especially the athlete community, to speak up against the CCP’s draconian policies in Tibet,
East Turkestan, and Hong Kong,” stated the SFT, which is a global grassroots network of students and activists working in solidarity with the Tibetan people for human rights and freedom.