Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee has requested singer Justin Bieber to cancel his 5 December performance at Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, urging him not to perform for the slain journalist’s ‘murderers’.
Hatice Cengiz wrote an open letter to Bieber that was published in The Washington Post on Saturday. She urged Bieber to cancel his performance and “send a powerful message to the world that your name and talent will not be used to restore the reputation of a regime that kills its critics.”
“Do not sing for the murderers of my beloved Jamal,” Cengiz wrote. “Please speak out and condemn his killer, Mohammed bin Salman. Your voice will be heard by millions.” “If you refuse to be a pawn of MBS, your message will be loud and clear: I do not perform for dictators. I choose justice and freedom over money,” Cengiz added, using the crown prince’s initials.
Bieber is among a group of artists who are scheduled to perform as Saudi Arabia hosts the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah. Some of the other performers include A$AP Rocky, DJs David Guetta and Tiesto and singer Jason Derulo. Human rights groups have also urged them to speak out against human rights issues in the country.
“Saudi Arabia has a history of using celebrities and major international events to deflect scrutiny from its pervasive abuses,” Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
Khashoggi, who wrote opinion columns for The Washington Post and was critical of the Saudi crown prince, was killed by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. In February, the Biden administration released a US intelligence report implicating Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s murder, but the crown prince denies any involvement.
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