Canadian singer Justin Bieber is one of the stars to perform at the Saudi Grand Prix on December 5.
The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has asked prominent Canadian singer Justin Bieber to cancel his concert next month in Saudi Arabia.
The Canadian singer is one of the stars who is scheduled to perform in the first Formula One Grand Prix of this country in Jeddah.
But Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée Khadijeh Genghis wrote in an open letter to Justin Bieber to “send a strong message” by withdrawing from the program.
Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi government, was assassinated in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Mr. Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to get documents for his fiancée’s wedding. The journalist’s body was dismembered as Mrs. Genghis waited outside the consulate.
“Do not sing for the killers of my dear Jamal,” Ms. Genghis wrote in a letter to the Washington Post.
He said Justin Bieber had “a unique opportunity” to show that “his name and talent will not be used to restore the reputation of a regime that kills its critics”.
Justin Bieber is scheduled to perform before the Formula One race on December 5. Other artists will be on the show, including British rapper and songwriter Isap Rocky, French singer-songwriter David Guetta, American singer-songwriter Jason Drullo.
Human Rights Watch has also called on Justin Bieber and other artists to stop performing at Formula One concerts in the country. The organization said the purpose of holding such events was to divert attention from Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
A US intelligence report has revealed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, has personally confirmed the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. However, the Saudi Crown Prince has repeatedly denied any involvement.
Jamal Khashoggi, a 59-year-old journalist, was once an adviser to the Saudi government and close to the royal family, but later fell out of favor and became so angry that he went into self-imposed exile in the United States in 2017. He was a columnist for the Washington Post.
Justin Bieber is not the first pop star to be pressured to withdraw from a concert in Saudi Arabia.
In 2019, American rapper Nikki Minaj canceled one of her performances in Jeddah; He cited the protection of women and the rights of heterosexuals as the reason.