Mariah Carey is being criticized by the Human Rights Foundation (HFR) for a recent performance in Angola. HRF has dubbed the nation’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, a “notoriously corrupt” dictator. He is said to have been responsible for the deaths of politicians, journalists and activists who oppose him.
The two-hour concert was a part of a gala for the Angolan Red Cross and was sponsored by mobile phone company Unitel. Dos Santos’s daughter Isabel owns Unitel and is the president of the Angolan Red Cross.
The HRF president, Thor Halvorssen, expressed his opinion in a statement:
“Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time,” Halvorssen said. “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. It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by the 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.”
Dos Santos has ruled Angola since 1979. The Angolan Red Gross raised $65,000.
Carey is one of many stars to be criticized for a performance involving a controversial ruler. Beyonce, Kanye West and Jennifer Lopez have also come under fire for similar appearances.