The fiancee of the Washington Post journalist who was murdered by a Saudi hit squad urged singer Justin Bieber to pull out of the F1 concert in Saudi Arabia next month in an op-ed published in the newspaper on Saturday.
“Cancel your Dec. 5 performance in Saudi Arabia. This is a unique opportunity to 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,” wrote Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of the slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I know that you are dedicated to your fans and are traveling to Saudi Arabia on their behalf. However, there are hundreds of Saudis, of all ages, backgrounds and religious beliefs, languishing in prison, punished for merely expressing their opposition to the merciless Saudi dictatorship of MBS,” Cengiz added, using the acronym associated with the Saudi crown prince.
Human Rights Watch has also been vocal in calling the pop star to forgo performing in Saudi Arabia.
“We have long documented ongoing abusive practices by Saudi authorities against peaceful dissidents & activists,” the organization tweeted. “We also have been urging those who are courted for events by the Saudi government to speak out or when reputation laundering is the primary purpose not participate.”
“We can’t let @justinbieber be used as part of the Saudi government’s PR campaign to hide its abuses – RT to join #Bieberfans4humanrights and ask him to call for accountability in Saudi Arabia,” Human Rights Watch added.
We have long documented ongoing abusive practices by Saudi authorities against peaceful dissidents & activists.— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) November 21, 2021
We also have been urging those who are courted for events by the Saudi government to speak out or when reputation laundering is the primary purpose not participate.
In October 2018, Khashoggi, a known critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve some documents in order to get his marriage license, but he was killed by a Saudi hit squad before he left.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration said that a “capture or kill” operation against Khashoggi had been approved by the crown prince.
The Hill has reached out to Bieber's label, Def Jam, for comment.