(Newser)

Justin Bieber is slated to play a show next month in Saudi Arabia at a Formula One race. Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée is one of many vocal critics asking him to pull out of the commitment. In an open letter on the Washington Post opinion section, Hatice Cengiz wrote that Khashoggi went into a Saudi consulate to get paperwork for their upcoming wedding. “He was instead murdered inside the consulate by operatives acting on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.” She wrote that there is no question of blame—Saudi Arabia is definitely responsible. She called Bieber out for promising to stand against injustice. “Please use your platform now to support the cause of human rights in Saudi Arabia. This year, you released an album that you titled Justice. You also released one titled Freedom. Saudi Arabia is in dire need of both.”

In 2019, Nicki Minaj canceled an appearance in the kingdom after fans applied pressure, saying she wanted to support women’s and gay rights, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bieber’s show is scheduled ahead of a world tour planned to kick off in February. A state-owned fund beholden to Prince Mohammed recently acquired a lot of shares—5.7%—of Live Nation. Live Nation is responsible for promoting Bieber’s tour, and owns Ticketmaster, which handles ticket sales. Human Rights Watch has added its voice to calls to pull out of the F1 event, saying the car racing organization is participating in a “cynical strategy to distract from Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses,” Minky Worden, a director at the nonprofit, told the Guardian. (Read more Justin Bieber stories.)

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