Mariah Carey to Play Saudi Concert Despite Human-Rights Protests

Mariah Carey will perform in Saudi Arabia on Thursday night—despite appeals from human-rights activists and family members of people who are allegedly being subjected to torture and sexual abuse in Saudi prisons. Carey is due to perform alongside Dutch DJ Tiesto and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul at the King Abdullah Economic City event tonight. But her scheduled appearance has infuriated human-rights activists, including Walid Alhathloul, whose sister, women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul, is in a Saudi jail. Writing for CNN, Alhathloul called the concert “a pathetic attempt to show that the country is becoming more tolerant toward women” and urged the superstar to call for his sister’s release. “There are many women languishing in Saudi prisons, simply for campaigning for the better treatment of women,” he wrote. “Some of them have been brutally tortured and sexually assaulted. One of these women is my sister, Loujain Alhathloul. As a fan of Carey’s work, I’d like to see her ask for the release of my sister while she is on stage.” Women for Rights in Saudi Arabia (WARSA) has launched a petition calling for Carey to boycott the kingdom.