cloudyn.png
Sunday December 5th, 2021 6:33PM

Saudi critic's fiancee urges Justin Bieber to cancel F1 show

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pop star Justin Bieber is facing growing calls to cancel his concert in Saudi Arabia next month as the fiancee of slain Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi joined a chorus of voices on Sunday urging him not to perform at the kingdom's Formula One race.

In an open letter published by The Washington Post, Hatice Cengiz urged the Canadian megastar to cancel his Dec. 5 performance in the Red Sea city of Jiddah 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.”

Bieber's concert is the most headline-grabbing performance scheduled for the race in Jiddah, though other F1 concert performers include rapper A$AP Rocky, DJs David Guetta and Tiesto and singer Jason Derulo.

It is not the first time a pop star has faced pressure to pull out of a concert in Saudi Arabia. Mariah Carey was the biggest-name performer to hit the stage in Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi's killing by Saudi agents in Turkey in October 2018. She brushed off calls to boycott the show.

Public pressure, however, prompted Nicki Minaj in 2019 to cancel her appearance on stage at a concert in Jiddah, telling The Associated Press at the time she wanted to show support for women’s rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.

Khashoggi's stunning killing in 2018 was carried out by members of a team of 15 Saudi government agents who'd been sent to Istanbul, where the writer and former government spokesman had an appointment at the Saudi consulate for documents needed to marry Cengiz. She waited from him outside the consulate, but he never walked out. His body was never found.

The killing by agents who worked for the crown prince drew international gasps and cast a shadow over Prince Mohammed, whose reputation never fully recovered. Prince Mohammed has maintained he had no prior knowledge of the operation that killed Khashoggi. A U.S. intelligence assessment made public under President Joe Biden, however, determined the crown prince approved the operation.

"Please know that your invitation to participate in a concert in Jiddah comes directly from MBS, as the crown prince is known," Cengiz wrote in her open letter to Bieber. “Nothing of significance happens in Saudi Arabia without his consent, and certainly not an event as important and flashy as this."

Bieber's concert in Saudi Arabia comes shortly before he opens a world tour in February that was rescheduled from 2020 due to the pandemic.

In the time since, Saudi Arabia's state-owned sovereign wealth fund — steered by Prince Mohammed — scooped up shares in Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster and promotes concerts for Bieber and other major stars. As Live Nation's shares plummeted last year during COVID-19 lockdowns and the cancellation of thousands of shows, the Public Investment Fund bought $500 million worth of shares in the battered company.

Public filings show the Saudi wealth fund is now the second largest institutional holder in Live Nation, with a stake worth some $1.4 billion.

Human Rights Watch has also called on Bieber and the other performers to pull out of the F1 concerts in Saudi Arabia, saying these events are aimed at “sportwashing” by diverting attention and deflecting scrutiny from Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

Saudi youth are the main attendees of these concerts, enjoying the country's newfound social changes that allow for music and gender mixing. The kingdom's General Sports Authority argues that sports is a tool for social change within the kingdom.

Next month's F1 race will be the first time Saudi Arabia hosts the premier sporting event, though the kingdom has hosted the lesser known Formula-E race in past years in an effort to raise the country's profile as a tourist destination.

At the time of Khashoggi's killing, the crown prince was being lauded for ushering in social reforms transforming life for many inside the country. Khashoggi had been writing columns for The Washington Post criticizing the crown prince’s brash foreign policy moves and simultaneous crackdown on activists and perceived critics, including women’s rights activists, writers, clerics and economists.

Saudi Arabia held a trial for some of those involved in his killing, sentencing five to death before sparing them of execution.

Khashoggi’s fiancee has told The Associated Press she will keep speaking out in the hopes of giving voice to those who remain imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for expressing their opinion.

___

Follow Aya Batrawy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ayaelb

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, Formula One Racing
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Saudi critic's fiancee urges Justin Bieber to cancel F1 show
The fiancee of slain Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi joined a chorus of voices calling on pop star Justin Bieber to cancel his concert in Saudi Arabia next month
5:00AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Officials: Sudan's military agrees to reinstate ousted PM
Military and government officials say a deal has been reached between Sudan’s military and civilian leaders to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was deposed in a coup last month
4:42AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Missing Chinese tennis star reappears in public in Beijing
Missing tennis star Peng Shuai has reappeared in public at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer, as the ruling Communist Party tried to quell fears about her while suppressing information after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
4:40AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
No. 24 Utah routs No. 4 Oregon, ending Ducks' CFP hopes
Britain Covey returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half, giving Utah 14 points in 27 seconds and a 28-0 lead, and the No. 24 Utes ended No. 4 Oregon’s College Football Playoff hopes with a 38-7 victory Saturday night
12:58AM ( 4 hours ago )
Crawford stops Porter in 10th to keep WBO welterweight title
Terrence Crawford stopped Shawn Porter in the 10th round by technical knockout Saturday night in one of the most anticipated bouts of the year
12:32AM ( 4 hours ago )
Capela leads Hawks past Hornets for fourth straight win
Clint Capela had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Trae Young scored 19 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-105
12:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Sports
Lewis Hamilton wins pole for inaugural Qatar Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have qualified 1-2 for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, setting up a showdown between the Formula One championship contenders at the very start of Sunday’s race
4:57PM ( 12 hours ago )
Tensions boil in Qatar between Mercedes and Red Bull
The most dramatic Formula One title fight in at least a decade further intensified when Christian Horner and Toto Wolff traded barbs at the Qatar Grand Prix
2:14PM ( 1 day ago )
NASCAR to resume practice and qualifying in 2022
NASCAR will return both practice and qualifying to its weekend schedule for all three national series in 2022
10:55AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Chileans vote in highly polarized presidential election
Chileans head to the polls to elect the country’s next president following a polarizing campaign in which leading candidates vowed to chart a new direction in the region’s most economically advanced country
12:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
Photos of missing Chinese tennis star posted online
An employee of Chinese state TV has posted photos of missing tennis star Peng Shuai online in a new effort to dispel concern about her disappearance after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
8:06PM ( 9 hours ago )
Tennis players take on Communist Party: Where is Peng Shuai?
Some of the world’s most famous tennis players are distraught by the disappearance of colleague Peng Shuai and are challenging China’s Communist Party to get answers
7:55PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP World News
As tourism brightens, Times Square hopes to regain luster
Even as visitors again crowd below the jumbo screens in New York’s Times Square, the souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels and entrepreneurs within the iconic U.S. landmark are still reeling from a staggering pandemic
10:54AM ( 18 hours ago )
With lights back on, Times Square hopes to regain its luster
Even as visitors again crowd below the jumbo screens in New York’s Times Square, the souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels and entrepreneurs within the iconic U.S. landmark are still reeling from a staggering pandemic
9:52AM ( 19 hours ago )
A defining image: Rittenhouse nearly crumbles out of picture
Kyle Rittenhouse, fighting back sobs, nearly collapsed out of the television camera's sight as the last of five ‘not guilty’ verdicts was read in a Wisconsin courtroom
11:54PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Entertainment
Ruben Blades: Power doesn't corrupt, power unmasks
This week proved to be a good time for musician and actor Ruben Blades to reflect on his remarkable life and career
4:04PM ( 1 day ago )
Mick Rock, photographer of 1970s music icons, dies at 72
Photographer Mick Rock, whose iconic portraits of rock stars saw him dubbed “the man who shot the 70s,” has died
8:59AM ( 1 day ago )
Slain rapper Young Dolph left a lasting legacy in Memphis
Two days before he was gunned down while buying cookies at his favorite bakery in Memphis, Tennessee, rapper Young Dolph visited a cancer center where a relative had received treatment
5:33PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Ted Lasso's Sudeikis helps raise funds for prosthetic limbs
With an Emmy win and a hit Apple TV+ series under his belt, Jason Sudeikis is having one big year
2:38PM ( 1 day ago )
EXPLAINER: What drives high-profile disappearances in China
The disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai in China following her accusations of sexual assault against a former top Communist Party official has shined a spotlight on similar cases involving political dissidents, entertainers, business leaders and others who ran afoul of the authorities
10:08AM ( 1 day ago )
Bowing to protests, India's Modi agrees to repeal farm laws
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he would repeal the controversial agriculture laws that sparked yearlong protests from tens of thousands of farmers and posed a significant challenge to his administration
9:36AM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Atlanta airport checkpoint chaos: Man grabs gun, it goes off
Authorities say a passenger awaiting a bag search at the Atlanta airport’s main security checkpoint reached in the bag and grabbed a firearm, and it went off, causing chaos among travelers
10:07PM ( 7 hours ago )
Korda, Ko part of 4-way tie at LPGA with $1.5M at stake
The LPGA is poised for a blockbuster finish to the season
6:51PM ( 10 hours ago )
Fox says it did not pay for Rittenhouse film and interview
Fox News on Saturday said it did not pay Kyle Rittenhouse for any special access during his murder trial or after his acquittal
5:55PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business
Hamilton disqualified in qualifying, Verstappen fined
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from Friday’s qualifying session at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a technical infringement by Mercedes
1:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Verstappen fined $57,200 in Brazil, Alonso tops practice
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has been fined $57,200 by stewards at the Brazilian Grand Prix after video taken from the grandstands at Interlagos showed the Formula One championship leader touching the rear wing of rival Lewis Hamilton’s car
12:05PM ( 1 week ago )
Verstappen investigated in Brazil, Alonso tops free practice
Red Bull driver and Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen is being investigated at the Brazilian Grand Prix for an alleged breach of the sporting code
11:15AM ( 1 week ago )
Formula One Racing
Officials: Sudan's military agrees to reinstate ousted PM
Military and government officials say a deal has been reached between Sudan’s military and civilian leaders to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was deposed in a coup last month
4:42AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Missing Chinese tennis star reappears in public in Beijing
Missing tennis star Peng Shuai has reappeared in public at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer, as the ruling Communist Party tried to quell fears about her while suppressing information after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
4:40AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Saudi critic's fiance urges Justin Bieber to cancel F1 show
The fiance of slain Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi joined a chorus of voices calling on pop star Justin Bieber to cancel his concert in Saudi Arabia next month
4:31AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Palestinian kills 1, injures 4 before police shoot him dead
A Palestinian assailant killed one Israeli and injures four others near the entrance to a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site before being fatally shot by Israeli police
4:20AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Video of missing Chinese tennis star posted online
Missing tennis star Peng Shuai has reappeared in public at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer, as the ruling Communist Party tried to quell fears while suppressing information after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
3:55AM ( 1 hour ago )