Justin Bieber urged not to ‘perform for dictators’ in open letter — Analysis
The fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has urged US pop star Justin Bieber to not be “a pawn” of the Saudi crown prince and to cancel his performance at a Formula One event in Saudi Arabia.
“Do not sing for the murderers of my beloved Jamal,” Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz wrote in an open letter to the entertainer published in The Washington Post.
Cengiz requested Bieber to not be “a pawn”Mohammed bin Salman was the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, which she called “a” “killer.”
“This year, you released an album that you titled ‘Justice.’ You also released one titled ‘Freedom.’ Saudi Arabia is in dire need of both,” Cengiz wrote. “Your message will be loud and clear: I do not perform for dictators. I choose justice and freedom over money.”
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia and Washington Post columnist was assassinated in Istanbul by the Saudi Embassy, Turkey, in 2018. Riyadh acknowledged that Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi officials but did not deny that the crown prince was involved.
In 2020, a Saudi court handed lengthy prison sentences to eight of the country’s nationals for Khashoggi’s murder.
The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that it was a “very low” level of intelligence in 2021. “highly unlikely” that the assassination of Khashoggi was carried out without Mohammed bin Salman’s approval. The US did sanction several Saudis, but not the crown Prince, for their involvement in the assassination.
Bieber, along with other well-known artists like Jason Derulo or David Guetta will be performing at Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 Jeddah.
Hamas and other NGOs as well as people online had earlier asked Bieber for support of Palestinian rights, and to cancel his October 2022 performance in Israel.
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