Kanye West Under Fire for Kazakhstan Performance

The Human Rights Foundation criticizes 'Ye's $3 million gig.

Posted: 09/05/2013 10:09 AM EDT
Kanye West

Kanye West put in work over the Labor Day weekend pocketing $3 million for a gig that isn't sitting well with the Human Rights Foundation. Yeezy performed at a wedding for the president of Kazakhstan's grandson Saturday (Aug. 31), thus legitimizing human rights violations brought on by the country's leader, according to the HRF.

In a statement, HRF President Thor Halvorssen described Kazakhstan as a "human rights wasteland," where an outspoken Kanye would be punished for his ideals. "The regime crushed freedom of speech and association; someone like Kanye, who makes a living expressing his views, would find himself in a prison under [President Nursultan] Nazarbayev's rule," the statement continues.

The HRF goes on to accuse Nazarbayev who has ruled the former Soviet state since 1991 of violations including "abusing judicial systems across the world in persecution of his opponents."

While West jumped at the chance to perform in Kazakhstan, other celebrities have turned down invites to the country. Rock legend Sting nixed his show in the capital city of Astana after strikes on oil workers killed more than a dozen. But not everyone chooses to turn down a check; Jennifer Lopez has also been criticized for racking up millions performing for dictators across the globe.

West has yet to release a statement on the Kazakhstan controversy. 

 

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 (Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)

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