NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom received the 2022 Courage Award at the 14th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy hosted by the NGO on April 6.

According to, the award for Enes is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the defense of human rights, in particular, his heroic efforts to sound the alarm about China’s brutal human rights abuses.

The summit took place as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was about to make a long-delayed visit to China in May, including to Xinjiang, where Western lawmakers have accused Beijing of genocide against Uighurs.

Sharing with AFP, Enes said that he hoped UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet would carry out “solid action” on China rather than mere condemnation.

Enes said, “We need change, and change cannot wait anymore. We need to take immediate action. What she represents is to bring awareness but what I want to tell her is, don’t just talk about it: be about it. Take some solid actions because condemning is good. It brings awareness, but it doesn’t change anything.”

One of China’s most vocal critics in the sporting world continued, “We don’t have time to wait. People are dying and getting killed, so she definitely needs to push whoever she needs to push.”

Regarding China-Taiwan relations, Enes said that China is watching the international community’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Therefore, countries should strengthen sanctions against Moscow to deter China from invading Taiwan.

He said, “We don’t want another Ukraine to happen to Taiwan.”

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