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Singer Mariah Carey has been criticized for giving a concert in Angola, which is under the leadership José Eduardo dos Santos, who has been criticized as a corrupt dictator.
Carey was in the African country on Sunday, when she gave a two-hour show for the Angolan Red Cross, which was sponsored by a cell phone company called Unitel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this company is owned by Dos Santos’ daughter, who is also the president of the Angolan Red Cross. As for Dos Santos himself, he’s been accused killing his opposition, including journalists and politicians. He has been president since 1979.
This week, the Human Rights Foundation issued a scathing statement, slamming Carey for performing for another dictator. As E! News notes, in 2009, the former American Idol judge had to apologize for performing for Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.
“Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time,” HRF president Thor Halvorssen said in a statement. “Just five years ago she performed for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Now, she goes from private performances to public displays of support and credibility for one of Africa’s chief human rights violators and most corrupt tyrants.”
Halvorssen continued, “It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by a ruthless police state to entertain and whitewash the father-daughter kleptocracy that has amassed billions in ill-gotten wealth while the majority of Angola lives on less than $2 a day.”
Carey hasn’t responded to HRF’s statement. She has posted a few pictures on Instagram, but didn’t include any photos from her Angola show. She did post a picture of herself before a show in Nigeria two days before the Angola appearance.
Jennifer Lopez also had to apologize earlier this year for performing for another repressive leader. She performed for Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow this summer.