Justin Bieber Under Fire For Performing In Saudi Arabia


Canada’s Justin Bieber and four other music stars are being urged not to attend next month’s inaugural Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021.

“You are scheduled to perform at a state-sponsored event in one of the most repressive regimes on Earth,” reads an open letter from the Human Rights Foundation (HRF).

“Why would you lend your name to a regime that has a track record of imprisoning and punishing women for asking to be treated equally? … You will be condoning, and serving the public relation needs of, a regime that executes members of the LGBTQ+ community for the ‘crime’ of being who they are or identifying as they do.”

Bieber is scheduled to perform on Dec. 5 along with A$AP Rocky and David Guetta. The night before, Jason Derulo and Tiësto are set to entertain race fans.

The events in Jeddah are sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has a record of ordering horrific human rights abuses. According to the HRF, he has “spearheaded a brutal crackdown on dissidents, including women’s rights activists and sexual minorities, through arbitrary detention, prosecution, and barbaric methods of execution, such as decapitation, crucifixion, and stoning to death.”

In a segment that aired last month on 60 Minutes, former Saudi intelligence officer Saad Aljabri, who fled to Canada, described Mohammed bin Salman as “a psychopath with no empathy” who “doesn't feel emotion.”

In 2018, Mohammed bin Salman allegedly sent a six-man team to Ottawa on a mission to kill Aljabri (they were denied entry by Canadian authorities). Aljabri warned Prince Mohammed is “a psychopath, killer, in the Middle East with infinite resources, who poses threat to his people, to the Americans and to the planet.”

Earlier this year, a U.S. intelligence report said Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

In 2019, Nicki Minaj cancelled a show in Saudi Arabia after an appeal from the HRF. “I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression," she said in a statement at the time.

Bieber, who frequently shares his Christian beliefs on social media, will need to avoid proselytizing while in Saudi Arabia, an Islamic theocracy where promoting other religions is illegal and conversion is punishable by death.

Ironically, Bieber’s most recent album is titled Justice and he is set to embark on his Justice World Tour early next year.

“Your appearance in Saudi Arabia will severely undermine your support of human rights and cause irreparable repetitional harm to your image,” the HRC claims. “You will become a pawn – a tool of the repressive Saudi regime’s campaign – used to detract attention away from the country’s dire human rights situation.”

Neither Bieber nor his reps have publicly commented on his plan to perform in Saudi Arabia.

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