Presentation of the 2022 Courage Award with Zumretay Arkin

Chair of the Women’s Committee of the World Uyghur Congress, Zumretay Arkin, presents the 2022 Courage Award at the 14th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.

Introducing Enes Kanter Freedom:

“His work, and the work of human rights defenders in this room and around the world is essential for our collective efforts to sustain peace, and ensure accountability and respect for human rights for all.”

“Often, this work comes at a high price. Some sacrifice their families, and others like Mr. Freedom sacrifice their career.”

On human rights:

“We all have a responsibility to stand up in front of injustice, because the choices that we make today are going to have an impact on the future.”

Full Remarks

I am honored to be here, at the 2022 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, to present the Courage Award.

This year, the 25 human rights groups that co-sponsor the Geneva Summit have chosen to recognize the outstanding contributions of Enes Kanter Freedom.

Enes Kanter Freedom is a former NBA player and champion of human rights who has been outspoken on rights abuses happening across the world, and specifically on the abuses in East Turkistan, Tibet, Hong Kong and mainland China. He has been a strong voice in the world of sports.

In the current environment, when giant corporations and entities are being intimidated and silenced by authoritarian governments, such as China, Enes Kanter Freedom has decided to stand against this form of censorship and retaliation. It is truly inspiring to see an individual with great reach to use his platform to fight for justice and defend human values. And Mr. Freedom has done so with passion and pride.

His work, and the work of human rights defenders in this room and around the world is essential for our collective efforts to sustain peace, and ensure accountability and respect for human rights for all.

Often, this work comes at a high price. Some sacrifice their families, and others like Mr. Freedom sacrifice their career.

Yet despite this, these courageous individuals remain committed to shining a light on the dark issues around the world, to give a voice to the voiceless.

We all have a responsibility to stand up in front of injustice, because the choices that we make today are going to have an impact on the future.

Mr. Freedom, today you join a prestigious list of human rights heroes, and I congratulate you.

The international community is grateful for your efforts to promote and defend human rights for us all.

Thank you for your key role in advancing peace, justice and human dignitiy in these dark times.

On behalf of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, I am proud to present you with our 2022 Courage Award.

Mr. Freedom, please come forward to receive the award.

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