The fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi wrote an open letter published by the Washington Post asking Justin Bieber to cancel his upcoming concert in Saudi Arabia.
“That’s why I’m writing to you with an appeal: cancel your December 5 performance in Saudi Arabia,” wrote Hatice Cengiz on Saturday (20).
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.
Hatice Cengiz, wife of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Bieber is expected to headline the Saudi Arabian Formula 1 race in December, joined by artists such as A$AP Rocky, David Guetta and Jason Derulo at the inaugural Jeddah Grand Prix.
Cengiz asked Bieber to remember that he is performing at the invitation of Saudi Arabia’s own crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
“Nothing significant happens in Saudi Arabia without your consent, and certainly not an event as important and flashy as this one,” wrote Cengiz. “His face is even featured on the event website with his – my fiance’s executioner, Jamal.”
In 2018, a team of government agents from the kingdom murdered the journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he would seek the documents of his marriage to Cengiz.
A US intelligence report concluded that the Crown Prince approved the operation, but the Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it “completely rejects the report’s negative, false and unacceptable assessment of Kingdom leadership.”
Cengiz is not the only one to criticize the F1 race.
“Sporting bodies like Formula One and the FIA cannot ignore the fact that they and their fans are being used ‘for sports washing up,” Minky Worden, director of Human Rights Watch that oversees the sport, told The Guardian.
In 2019, Nicki Minaj canceled a concert in Saudi Arabia, saying he wanted to make clear his support for “the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.” Justin Bieber has not yet commented on the matter.
“If you refuse to be a pawn of Mohammed bin Salman, your message will be loud and clear: I don’t play for dictators,” wrote Cengiz. “I choose justice and freedom over money.”
Translated text. Read the original in English.
Reference: CNN Brasil