Justin Bieber
Bieber (Def Jam Recordings)

The Human Rights Foundation Calls On Artists To Drop Out Of Planned Performances At The 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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(CelebrityAccess) — International advocacy group The Human Rights Foundation has called on Canandian recording artist Justin Bieber to cancel a scheduled performance at the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021, a state-sponsored music festival funded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

The Human Rights Foundation noted that Saudi Arabia has an “appalling human rights record” and urged Bieber to boycott the event and instead use his global stature to issue a statement in support of human rights in the nation.

“It would be disastrous for Justin Bieber, an artist with a vast global following, and who is idolized by millions, to be used as a pawn by MBS’ murderous regime,” said HRF President Céline Assaf-Boustani. “Instead of giving into MBS’ plot to launder his image, as other artists have done since MBS’ ascent to power, Mr. Bieber should follow the lead of his fellow artist Nicki Minaj, who boldly shut down MBS and refused to perform for him.”

In particular, the HFR claims that Bieber would be profiting off of a government that criminalizes homosexuality and in April 2019, were reported to have beheaded five gay men who confessed their sexual orientation after being subjected to torture.

“As someone who has articulated a commitment to civil rights and social justice, Mr. Bieber should stay true to his words and use his platform to raise awareness about the atrocities being perpetrated every day in Saudi Arabia, especially against members of the LGBTQ+ community,” added Assaf-Boustani. “This performance would stand in stark contrast to the core values he claims to subscribe to. Music is not just a business, but also an influential art form that should not be purchased by a brutal dictatorship.”

The Human Rights Foundation also cited the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose murder was confirmed by Agnès Callamard, who, at the time, was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings.

HRF also sent letters to A$AP Rocky, David Guetta, Tiësto, Jason Derulo, and Mohamed Hamaki calling on them to drop out of their participation in the event as well.

A representative for Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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