The Human Rights Foundation has asked Nicki Minaj to cancel her scheduled performance in Angola, amidst controversy surrounding a list of abuses committed by the President of the nation.
Minaj confirmed via Facebook that she has been booked to play at a Christmas festival in the Angolan capital Luanda. The country has been accused countless times of violating the rights of journalists, activists and almost anyone who speaks out against the government’s oppression.
In a letter mailed to Minaj, Thor Halvorssen, the head of Human Rights foundation, asked the rapper to reconsider her scheduled performance. Halvorssen is well known for criticising celebrities that fraternise with repressive countries. He was introduced to many in Hollywood after using balloons to airlift thousands of copies of James Franco’s The Interview into North Korea, in order to embarrass dictator Kim Jong Un.
In his letter, Halvorssen noted that Angolan hip-hop artist Luaty Beirao was arrested in June after attending a meeting to discuss democracy and non-violence, using this as a key point to validate his argument against Minaj’s performance.
“As a strong-willed independent artist, shouldn’t you be advocating for the release of the imprisoned rapper Luaty Beirao rather than entertaining the dictator and his thieving family?” asks Halvorssen in his letter.
“Ms Minaj, you are well known for being involved with charities such as the Get Schooled Foundation, which helps motivate young people to graduate from high school and succeed in college. If you move forward with this performance for the dictator and his family, you will be in league with the people stealing educational resources and opportunity from young Angolans.”
As of yet, there has been no official response Nicki Minaj, or anyone in her party. Here’s hoping she considers the letter before she chooses to perform.