JLO’s clarification on Turkmen performance

Los Angeles, July 1 (IANS) Singer Jennifer Lopez, who is being criticised for singing for Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in his home country, wouldn’t have done so were she aware of human rights issues in the Central Asian nation.

Lopez Saturday sang “Happy Birthday” for the 56-year-old leader, who has an oppressive record of human rights violations. The singer’s performance was criticised by the non-profit Human Rights Foundation eonline.com reported.

Lopez’s performance was part of a concert sponsored by “China National Petroleum Corporation, that was presented to their local executives in Turkmenistan. It was not a government sponsored event or political in nature,” a statement issued on behalf of Lopez said.

“The event was vetted by her representatives. Had there been knowledge of human rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended,” it added.

The “Happy Birthday” element came after “the China National Petroleum Corporation made a last minute birthday greeting request prior to Jennifer taking the stage,” the statement said.

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