Scott Brown calls out China on human rights

Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, now the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, is sounding the alarm about China from his vantage point on the Pacific Rim.

Brown unloaded on China this week for its brazen censorship, human rights abuses and mass oppression of the Uyghurs fracturing relations with America.

While presenting sports news on a New Zealand TV show on Friday, Brown weighed in on the NBA firestorm that flared up this week when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong … then quickly deleted his tweet in fear of predictable backlash from the Chinese Communist Party regime — which came in spades.

Chinese state television dropped the broadcasts of NBA preseason games in China, among other measures, to put pressure on both the NBA and Morey for daring to express any criticism of the Chinese government’s heavy handed suppression of its people.

Brown, a former colonel in the Army National Guard who served our country for 35 years, wasn’t having it.

In an interview on New Zealand’s The AM Show, Brown said, “I understand China wanting to control things that happen within their country. … They censor, they put people in reconditioning camps, they shut down the internet, they can do whatever they want in their country as far as I’m concerned. But when they attack free speech and the ability for Kiwis and U.S. folks to give their opinion and merely just show support for something … in Hong Kong, a lot of people are supportive of their ability to peacefully protest — and then say, ‘Oh by the way, we are going to cancel you, we are going to take away your money, you are going to do this, you are going to do that,’ this is outrageous. This is absolutely outrageous.

“They are taking away peoples’ ability to think,” Brown said about the Chinese regime. “They have reconditioning camps. You don’t agree with them, they put you in a camp.”

This is not hyperbole. UN monitors say there are at least one million Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group, imprisoned in China today and being forced to reject their religion. The “reconditioning camps” are also being used for political dissents and low-level criminals.

Brown also cited China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices, damaging relations between the two superpowers.

It’s time for American companies and organizations — the NBA, and Google and Apple among them — to stop putting profits before freedom and democracy, and acting out of greed at the expense of human rights.

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is host of the “Adriana Cohen Show” heard Wednesdays at noon on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.