Human rights group: Jennifer Lopez performs for dictators, crooks

July 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM
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HOLLYWOOD, July 13 (UPI) -- The Human Rights Foundation has accused U.S. pop star Jennifer Lopez of accepting more than $10 million to perform for dictators and corrupt politicians.

The human rights group's statement came Friday on the heels of criticism the singer received for singing "Happy Birthday" to Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who is accused of human-rights violations, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

Lopez's publicist said her performance in Turkmenistan wasn't political in nature and "had there been knowledge of human-rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended."

Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen said Lopez took money for "serenading crooks and dictators" in Russia and a number of other Soviet republics before the Turkmenistan performance.

"The 'Jenny-from-the-block-who-doesn't-Google' clarification may be credible in one instance, but it beggars belief in light of a pattern of repeated behavior," he said.

The statement said Lopez was paid to perform for Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is accused of human-rights abuses, and allegedly corrupt Russian businessman Telman Ismailov. The statement said Lopez had made arranegments for a music festival with Azerbaijan dictator Ilham Aliyev.

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