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article imageJennifer Lopez regrets entertaining Turkmenistan ruler

By Leo Reyes     Jul 1, 2013 in Entertainment
Popular American entertainer Jennifer Lopez has apologized for entertaining Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and for singing happy birthday to the 56-year-old leader in a party held at flashy Avaza resort Saturday.
There is nothing wrong with Lopez doing a concert for anyone who can afford her professional fees and other expenses for her entourage.
But Saturday's concert was different from the usual events that she has graced in other parts of the Russian federation. In attendance during the concert was Turkmenistan President Berdymukhamedov who was celebrating his 56th birthday.
Little did Lopez know that the country's leadership has been tagged by Human Rights Watch, a group of rights activists that monitors international human rights abuses, as "among the most repressive in the world."
Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen said; "What is the next stop on her tour, Syria? The dictator of Kazakhstan’s birthday is July 6, maybe she will also pay him a visit?”
The guardian co.uk reported that Lopez has performed in Ukraine in the past for private businessmen for a fee of over $1million.
According to the 2013 world report by HRW, rights advocates including journalists face "constant threat of government reprisal."
"The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny, media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders and other activists face the constant threat of government reprisal. The government continues to use imprisonment as a tool for political retaliation," hrw.org writes.
Lopez' publicist said the singer-actress has apologized for her action but she explained that she was not aware of the human rights issues at hand when she accepted the invitation to perform.
"Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended." Lopez' publicist said.
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