The Human Rights Foundation has criticized Kanye West's recent performance in Kazakhstan. HRF joins other human right activists, who say West legitimizes the human rights violations by playing a private gig at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev last week.
HRF president Thor Halvorssen says in a statement that Kazakhstan is a "human rights wasteland," where entertainers like West would be imprisoned for expressing their views. "The regime crushes freedom of speech and association; someone like Kanye, who makes a living expressing his views, would find himself in a prison under Nazarbayev's rule," the statement says.
The statement continues to explain that Nazarbayev is known for suppressing the media and kidnapping the family members of dissidents in order to keep his hold on power.
West is not the only musician who has been slammed by HRF for playing in a country with human rights-related issues. Early this summer, Jennifer Lopez was criticized for playing a private show for "repressive" Turkmenistan president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.