FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CODEPINK Women for Peace has gathered thousands of signatures on a petition asking Justin Bieber to cancel his performance at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia. On October 11, Bieber tweeted a link to tickets for the show in Saudi Arabia, announcing his performance. Since then, groups like CODEPINK and the Human Rights Foundation have been calling on Bieber to boycott Saudi Arabia citing human rights violations.
In CODEPINK’s petition, started in October 2021, the group calls attention to women’s rights, labor rights, prisoners of conscience and the Saudi-led war on Yemen. “Yours, and Formula 1 driver’s comfortable stay in Saudi Arabia will not be possible without the countless foreign laborers who are exploited in the Kingdom” the petition continued, “Under the current system, many migrant workers, including domestic workers who are primarily women, are trapped with abusive employers, and can face arrest, deportation and bans if they leave their employers without their consent.”
“Justin Bieber wouldn’t be the first big name artist to refuse to perform in Saudi Arabia,” Danaka Katovich, a national organizer with CODEPINK went on, “Nicki Minaj after calls from CODEPINK and the Human Rights Foundation, also boycotted a concert citing human rights concerns within the Kingdom. Mayors of major cities from around the world also boycotted the G20 summit that was hosted by Saudi Arabia last year.”
Ariel Gold, the national co-director of CODEPINK stated, “Saudi Arabia hosting the Formula 1 Grand Prix is just one big attempt to distract the world from the brutal war and blockade on Yemen that the government of Saudi Arabia is carrying out. On top of the race itself, inviting musicians like Justin Bieber to perform takes eyes off what really matters and that is ending the suffocating blockade on the Yemeni people.”
The petition ends with a plea to Bieber, “We hope you take these concerns to heart and change your mind about performing in Saudi Arabia at the end of this year. Plenty of other artists have made the brave decision to do so.”