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Opinion Please, Justin Bieber, don’t perform for the regime that killed my fiance

Justin Bieber onstage in New York on Feb. 7, 2020. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for MTV)

Hatice Cengiz was Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee.

Dear Justin:

A little over three years ago, my fiance, the journalist and Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul believing he was going to pick up some documents needed for our upcoming wedding. He was instead murdered inside the consulate by operatives acting on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Perhaps you heard about his case. His brutal murder made headlines all over the world. Ever since, many human rights organizations and individuals, including myself, have been calling for justice and accountability.

That’s why I am writing to you with a plea: Cancel your Dec. 5 performance in Saudi Arabia. This is a unique opportunity to send a powerful message to the world that your name and talent will not be used to restore the reputation of a regime that kills its critics.

There are no doubts about the circumstances of Jamal’s murder. An investigation by the United Nations deemed the murder an “international crime” and held Saudi Arabia “responsible.” The U.S. intelligence community has also placed the blame on the head of the crown prince himself.

Please know that your invitation to participate in a concert in Jiddah comes directly from MBS, as the crown prince is known. Nothing of significance happens in Saudi Arabia without his consent, and certainly not an event as important and flashy as this. Your face is even featured on the event’s website with his — the executioner of my fiance, Jamal.

I know that you are dedicated to your fans and are traveling to Saudi Arabia on their behalf. However, there are hundreds of Saudis, of all ages, backgrounds and religious beliefs, languishing in prison, punished for merely expressing their opposition to the merciless Saudi dictatorship of MBS.

All forms of oppression are evil, no matter where they occur. Last year, you wrote to your followers: “I want to use the platform I have to remind people that racism is evil and it is ingrained in our culture.” Considering this very honorable commitment that you have made to take a 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.

Do not sing for the murderers of my beloved Jamal. Please speak out and condemn his killer, Mohammed bin Salman. Your voice will be heard by millions.

If you refuse to be a pawn of MBS, your message will be loud and clear: I do not perform for dictators. I choose justice and freedom over money.

Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz said sharing her story in "The Dissident" helped her transform her pain while keeping Khashoggi's name and story alive. “In front of you there are like two options. The first one is keep living at the same place that you’re already in…the second way is to transform. What I mean is transform your pain, or your heart, what you’re feeling, to hope.” (Video: Washington Post Live)