FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2021 — Freedom Forward and CODEPINK delivered thousands of petition signatures to Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun today demanding that the pop star cancel his performance in Saudi Arabia this upcoming weekend. Both groups took to social media using the hashtags #JustinDontGo and #WTFJustin to urge Bieber to drop out and to call attention to human rights abuses inside the Kingdom and under the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
"Justin Bieber's latest album is titled Justice, but there's no justice in taking money from a brutal dictator and performing as part of a propaganda campaign," said Sunjeev Bery, Executive Director of Freedom Forward. “Saudi Arabia's dictatorship has bombed and killed thousands in Yemen, while jailing and torturing women's rights activists at home. Justin Bieber should cancel his Sunday concert and reveal to the world just how much money the Saudi dictator is paying him.”"
Ariel Gold, CODEPINK’s National co-director said, “Justin Bieber would not be the first celebrity to cancel an appearance in Saudi Arabia,” she continued, “Nicki Minaj refused to perform in Saudi Arabia citing human rights concerns. Justin Bieber can make a huge statement by refusing to attend.”
CODEPINK’s petition highlighted the plight of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia as well. “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,” read the petition.
Freedom Forward’s petition stated “Bieber can make it clear that a royal family that criminalizes speech and expression cannot be a partner for celebrated performers.”
The organizations and petition signers are concerned that Saudi Arabia’s dictator, Mohammed bin Salman, is using Bieber’s performance at the Saudi Grand Prix to distract the world from the Saudi government’s crimes inside and outside of the Kingdom. A refusal by Bieber to perform would make a statement to the Saudi monarchy that it can no longer get away with such blatant human rights violations.