NBA player calls for « liberation » of Tibet, angering China – rts.ch
Turkish Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter posted a message on social media on Wednesday calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a « brutal dictator » and supporting Tibet’s self-determination, rekindling tensions between China and the North League. -american basketball (NBA).
« Mr. brutal dictator XI JINPING and the Chinese government. Tibet belongs to the Tibetans! I support my Tibetan brothers and sisters, and I support their calls for freedom, » wrote Enes Kanter, the new backbone of the Celtics, on Twitter and Facebook.
His message is accompanied by a photo of shoes adorned with Tibetan iconography and the slogan « Free Tibet », worn during the first game of the 2021-2022 season against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, to which he did not. did not participate.
The 29-year-old pivot has been playing in the NBA for many years: he notably wore the colors of the Utah Jazz, the Oklahoma Thunder or the Knicks.
In a three-minute video also posted on social media, Kanter, wearing a Dalai Lama t-shirt, criticizes China’s stranglehold on Tibet.
Also critical of Recep Tayyip Erdogan
An assumed supporter of the Gulenist movement accused by Ankara of having orchestrated the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016, he has repeatedly stated that he has for years avoided all contact with members of his family in Turkey for fear of exposing them to reprisals from the authorities.
His father, Mehmet Kanter, an academic accused of belonging to this movement founded by the preacher Fethullah Gülen and considered by Ankara as a terrorist, had been acquitted in June 2020 by a Turkish court after denying any link with this movement.
NBA already in turmoil after Hong Kong tweet
Tibet has alternated over the centuries periods of independence and control by China, which claims to have « peacefully liberated », during a military intervention in 1951, this vast territory located on a rugged plateau.
But human rights defenders and Tibetan exiles say China’s central government practices religious repression, torture, forced sterilization and cultural erosion through forced re-education.
The NBA is not its first political incident with China, an essential market for it. In 2019, championship matches were unscheduled from Chinese television after Houston Rockets leader Daryl Morey publicly supported the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
>> Read also: Angered by tweet, China delivers merciless game against NBA
>> On this subject, see the report from 7:30 p.m.:
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