.

Jennifer Lopez Performs for Repressive Leader of Turkmenistan

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow accused of human rights violations

Jennifer Lopez performs for leader of Turkmenistan.
IGOR SASIN/AFP/Getty Images
June 30, 2013 11:05 AM ET

Jennifer Lopez performed last night for the president of Turkmenistan, a country Human Rights Watch describes as one of the most repressive in the world. According to The Guardian, J. Lo sang "Happy Birthday" to president Gurbanguly Berdymukhaedov during the performance after a last-minute request from the hosts.

The performance took place during the celebration for Berdymukhaedov's 56th birthday at the luxury resort of Avaza on the Central Asian nation's Caspian coast. The event was reportedly hosted by the China National Petroleum Corporation, which said that it had organized Lopez's visit to Turkmenistan.

Jennifer Lopez: Red Carpet Fashion

A 2012 report by Human Rights Watch portrays Berdymukhaedov as an authoritarian ruler who has limited his country's access to information and restricted its citizens' rights to international travel. "The country remains closed to independent scrutiny, media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders face constant threat of government reprisal," the report says. "The United Nations Committee against Torture expressed concern about allegations of widespread torture and ill-treatment, and of enforced disappearances in custody."

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, a publicist for Lopez said that the singer would not have performed in Turkmenistan at all if she had known about the human rights issues there. 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com