Last week we asked you to take action to ask finance companies to pull out of the Saudi investment event, Davos in the Desert. But that isn’t the only upcoming venue to be hosted in the repressive murderous state of Saudi Arabia. This December through February, Saudi Arabia will host an eight-week long artwashing festival to distract from their war crimes and human rights abuse. Scheduled to perform are Enrique Iglesias, Lionel Richie, and Rod Stewart.
Lionel Richie donates to UNICEF, Rod Stewart supports the Red Cross, and Enrique Iglesias partners with Save the Children. Iglesias has even stated: “my heart goes out to the kids around the world who have lived through a humanitarian crisis and have to rebuild their lives from scratch.” But what about the Yemeni kids who can’t even think about rebuilding yet because they are still dying — one every ten minutes — as a result of the Saudi-led war?
If Iglesias, Stewart, and Richie go ahead with their performances in Saudi Arabia, they will be undermining the very causes they are committed to. Sign our petitions asking them to cancel!
Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), during his recent appearance on 60 Minutes, denied any knowledge of the torture of woman’s rights activist Loujan al-Hathloul and said her release is not up to him. However, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, where MbS controls and has knowledge of every major decision the country carries out -- including the torture of Loujan and other women’s rights activists.
Last July, hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj canceled her performance in Saudi Arabia after learning about the terrible human rights abuses committed by Saudi Arabia. “After better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” she said. Help us ask Enrique Iglesias, Rod Stewart, and Lionel Richie to join her.
The Saudi regime is using Iglesias, Stewart, and Richie as a part of their rebranding efforts, trotting out popular musical talents to help MbScover up his crimes against women, journalists, children, and others. But as long as Loujan is in prison being tortured, as long as there remains no accountability for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as long as (US-made) Saudi bombs continue to drop in Yemen and more, we will continue to protest against Saudi Arabia. Ask Enrique Iglesias, Rod Stewart, and Lionel Richie to join our efforts by canceling their concerts.
Towards justice and freedom,
Ann, Ariel, Caroline, Carley, Clara, Emily, Jodie, Leonardo, Maya, Mark, Medea, Megan, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, Raegan, Rose, Teri, Tighe, and Zena
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