Pressure mounts for Justin Bieber to cancel Saudi Arabia performance

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Human Rights Foundation – HRF.org

Justin Bieber is slated to perform next month in Saudi Arabia, but a growing number of activists are begging the singer to back out and stand in solidarity with those protesting the 2018 murder of journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabian operators.

Critics continue to demand accountability from the Saudi government and have accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of orchestrating Khashoggi’s murder. Prince Mohammed has repeatedly denied any responsibility.

Hatice Cengiz, who was the slain journalist’s fiancée, penned an open letter to The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi worked, and forcefully asked Justin to cancel his December 5 headlining concert at the Formula One race in Jiddah. Should he do so, she says it will “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.”

Other activists also have reached out to the Canadian singer, including the global nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which also wrote an impassioned letter to the pop star.  In addition, two planes were seen circling outside the American Music Awards with banners criticizing the “Peaches” singer.

Justin has so far remained silent about the controversy.

 

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