DHARAMSALA, 24 Feb: NBA veteran Enes Kanter Freedom, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s human rights abuses has been declared the winner of the Geneva Summit’s 2022 Courage Award.
Freedom will receive the Geneva Summit’s 2022 Courage Award at a ceremony on 6th April and address UN ambassadors, human rights activists and journalists from around the world attending the 14th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, a cross-regional coalition of 25 human rights organizations has announced on Tuesday, reports United Nations Watch, the co-organizer of the conference.
Hillel Neuer, the executive director of United Nations Watch has said that Freedom was chosen for the prestigious award for his “heroic efforts to sound the alarm on China’s brutal human rights abuses.”
Kanter who also earned a nomination for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize last week for his activism has thanked the Geneva Summit for Human Rights which is sponsored by a coalition of 25 human rights NGOs from around the world for declaring him as the recipient of the human rights award.
“I want to say thank you to the Geneva Summit for Human Rights for its support and for shining a global spotlight on human rights abuse in China,” Freedom has said.
“I hope this encourages other athletes to stand up for what is right.”
The 6 ft 10-inch center, born in Switzerland and raised in Turkey became a US citizen last November which he marked by changing his last name to Freedom describes himself as a decade-long critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had his passport cancelled and his father arrested for daring to call out human rights violations by Turkish President Erdogan.
He was shown the door by the NBA for his criticism of the genocidal Chinese Communist regime, and its brutal suppression of freedom in Tibet, Hong Kong and East Turkistan.
The 29-year-old baller was traded to the Houston Rockets on 10 February by his former team Celtics, four days later, he was released by the Rockets- which media reports suspect is the NBA’s punishment for him for speaking out on China, and to silence him.
Freedom, a veteran of 11 NBA seasons has don the jersey of Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers and the Celtics on the basketball court. He has career averages of 11.2 points and 7.8 rebounds over 748 regular-season games.
Freedom, now a free agent has reportedly said that he’s open to continuing his career in Greece.