Republican lawmakers are calling on President Joe Biden to to impose sanctions on Turkey after the Turkish government offered a $500,000 bounty on former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom.
Freedom has been an outspoken human rights activist for the past several years and has been an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling him the “Hitler of our century.” Under Erdogan clamped down on free speech, jailing journalists or political opponents who dare disagree with him. He is so desperate to silence his enemies that he is now going after Freedom, who is an American citizen living in Washington D.C.
In response to this development, republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Hern (MO) and Rep. Brian Babin (TX) wrote a letter to Biden asking for the president to offer a strong response to Erdogan’s actions.
“We are deeply concerned about the continued deterioration of human rights and the rule of law in Turkey. Under President Erdoğan, Turkey has become increasingly authoritarian, with the government systematically detaining, prosecuting, and sentencing political opponents, journalists, and critics of the president on charges of terrorism and insulting the president,” they wrote. “We urge your administration to put pressure on the Turkish government on freedom of expression, the free exercise of religion and other fundamental rights, specifically in regards to the Enes Kanter Freedom case.”
Biden might be too busy worrying about gender and racial equity to care about this, but it is nonetheless encouraging that lawmakers are taking a strong stand against a government that is threatening an American citizen.
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