Nicki Minaj is facing criticism from human rights activists ahead of her performance at a music festival in Saudi Arabia.
The hip hop star has accepted an invitation to take the stage at the Jeddah World Fest later this month (Jul19), and now officials at the Human Rights Foundation have written an open letter condemning the Anaconda hitmaker.
In the note, they alleged that the country’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is funding her set as he faces accusations of human rights abuses.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the individual who authorized and is financing your seven-figure performance at the event. I am writing to urgently inform you of the human rights crises in Saudi Arabia,” HRF CEO Thor Halvorssen wrote.
The letter goes on to address Salman’s “absolute monarchy” and his enforcement of a legal system that is modelled after Shari’a law, with peaceful protesters allegedly being sentenced to death. The note also focuses on Saudi Arabia’s abuse of gays and lesbians.
“You recently celebrated Pride Week to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Yet, if you move forward with this performance, you will be condoning, and serving the public relations needs, of a government that executes homosexuals for the ‘crime’ of being who they are,” Halvorssen added.
He also detailed the issue of women’s rights, revealing “women in the audience will be wearing a full Abaya and separated from the men, and adding, “Not one woman present is allowed to be there without a male guardian or without permission from a male in her household.”
Minaj has yet to address the issue.