Artistic responsibility

Citing human rights abuses, foundation asks Nicki Minaj to reconsider performance in Angola

(Chad Batka/The New York Times)

The Human Rights Foundation has asked 33-year-old rapper Nicki Minaj to reconsider a scheduled performance at a public Christmas festival in Angola on Saturday, saying that the move endorses Angola’s corrupt government. The company running the Christmas festival is controlled, in part, by the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, the man who has ruled Angola since 1979. Though dos Santos is technically a president, he controls virtually all aspects of governance and his regime is considered authoritarian in terms of classifications used in constitutional law. “If you try to voice your opinions and they happen to be contrary to the government’s, you’re more than likely to be chased, get a beat down in public places, have your grandmother receive death threats and all sorts of equally nasty deprivations of your basic human rights,” Angolan rapper Luaty Beirao told website OkayAfrica in 2012. Beirao was among 17 people jailed by the government in June for discussing a book that covered nonviolent resistance.  Minaj has not yet publicly responded to the Human Rights Foundation’s request, but on Wednesday she posted an ad for the Angola performance on Twitter, shortly followed by another tweet: “Every tongue that rises up against me in judgment shall be condemned.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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