Superstar rapper Nicki Minaj is scheduled to headline a music festival, the Jeddah World Fest, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 18, as The Inquisitr reported. But while her appearance is causing controversy in the ultra-conservative, Muslim country due to Minaj’s often overtly sexual lyrics and performances, on Friday the 36-year-old “Megatron” rapper found herself slammed by a new source — the Human Rights Foundation, one of the world’s leading human rights advocacy groups.
In a post on the group’s HRF site Friday, the Human Rights Foundation called on Minaj to cancel her performance in Saudi Arabia and refuse to accept money from the regime, which HRF calls “one of the world’s worst human rights violators.”
HRF CEO Thor Halvorssen also sent a letter directly to Minaj, which was also posted via HRF, requesting that she cancel her performance.
“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,” Halvorssen wrote to the rapper. “Since coming to power in 2017, MBS has spearheaded a crackdown on human rights, especially those of the women who live in his Kingdom.”
Among other human rights violations, bin Salman is believed to have ordered the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime who authored op-ed columns for The Washington Post, as The Inquisitr has covered.
The bin Salman regime last year also arrested 11 women who had protested against the Saudi government’s treatment of women, as the BBC reported.
The women, who had protested Saudi Arabia’s law that prohibited women from driving automobiles, were reportedly tortured in prison with flogging, electric shocks, and being hung upside down from a ceiling, according to The Guardian. The Saudi law against women driving has since been repealed by bin Salman, but most of the women who protested the law remain in prison there.
The Human Rights Foundation called on Minaj to “use her global influence to issue a statement demanding the release of the Saudi women activists who are currently in prison.”
Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, who is an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and currently lives in the United States to avoid arrest in Russia for his opposition to the government, also took to Twitter to criticize Minaj.
“If Minaj wore a MAGA hat, everyone would go crazy,” Kasparov wrote on his Twitter account. “But American stars taking big money from dictators is no big deal?”