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Birthday Serenade Lands Lopez in Hot Water

Posted on 02. Jul, 2013 by in Arts

Jennifer Lopez performed in Turkmenistan on June 29 and near the end of her show sang Happy Birthday for the country’s leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

Jennifer Lopez performed in Turkmenistan on June 29 and near the end of her show sang Happy Birthday for the country’s leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

July 02, 2013 - Jennifer Lopez performed in Turkmenistan on June 29 and near the end of her show sang Happy Birthday for the country’s leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

She had been singing at the event that was held in the former Soviet bloc country and hosted by China National Petroleum Corp.

However, Lopez insists she was not aware of the country’s human rights violations and apologized through her publicist.

Whether she made a mistake or not, she still received her payment of $1.5 million for entertaining at the event.

Turkmenistan has been described as among the world’s most repressive countries by Human Rights Watch.

An official from the United Nations noted that in May, following a visit, that much more work was needed to be done in the nation to reach today’s international standards.

Since the incident took place, Lopez released a statement that said the event was not sponsored by the government of Turkmenistan nor was it political in any nature.

The statement continued by saying the event had been vetted by Lopez representatives and if there had been knowledge of issues of any type regarding human rights Lopez would not have taken part in the event.

A last minute request to sing Happy Birthday was made by the company hosting the event just prior to Lopez’s performance.

The request was not part of her contract, but the singer was gracious and obliged the request of the China Petroleum Corp, said the statement.

Human Rights Foundation’s Thor Halvorssen said that Lopez has the same right as anyone else to make a living performing for any dictator of her choice along with his circle of friends.

However, her actions destroyed the message she had been able to cultivate with her previous involvement with programs with Amnesty International in Mexico, which had been aimed at lowering the violence against women.

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