Wed, 17 Aug 2022

Ottawa [Canada], July 2 (ANI): NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom has called upon Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take stringent actions on China's "genocide" of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang region adding that Canberra must signal that it will not tolerate Beijing's abuses.

Apparently, the NBA player and human rights campaigner in a June 15 letter to Trudeau, requested the Prime Minister for real action against China's atrocities on the Uyghur population. However, he termed the reply from Trudeau a "lacklustre response", reported Canada's local media outlet CBC News.

The basketball player wrote to Trudeau last month to encourage the Liberal government to take a harder line on China. This is at a time when China is allegedly committing genocide against a Turkic minority in the country's Xinjiang province.

In an interview with CBC News, Kanter Freedom said he doesn't think his letter actually made it into Trudeau's hands.

"The response I got didn't actually address any of the specific points I raised. I know if he had actually read it himself, I would've gotten a more thoughtful response," he said adding, "He cares. I believe he cares about human rights not just in Canada but around the world. If he carries a heart, there's no way he wouldn't respond to me."The NBA player also criticized the decision by Trudeau and his cabinet ministers to abstain on a House of Commons motion last year declaring the horrors in China a genocide. He said that it was another disappointment on the part of Canada.

Moreover, Kanter Freedom urged Canada to rethink doing business with China. He said Canada and the U.S. are economic powerhouses and, if they move in lockstep to ban goods from the troubled region, it could force big companies which once had part of their supply chain in Xinjiang, to rethink doing business with China.

"It's genocide. That's how I would explain it. The situation is really bad and a diplomatic boycott -- that's not going to save lives," Enes Kanter said, adding it's money that China cares about most.

He urged Trudeau to adopt Conservative Senator Leo Housakos's Senate bill as government policy, which goes a step further than what was passed through Congress south of the border.

If adopted, S-204 would ban the import of all goods manufactured or produced wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

Kanter Freedom said the bill would stop Canada from "inadvertently financing forced labour of Uighurs and the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Party.""I love the game and I'm not considering retirement but I won't rest knowing that, on the other side of the ocean, millions of people are losing their loved ones. This is bigger than me, bigger than the NBA or basketball and bigger than my next paycheque," he said. (ANI)

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