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Tyga is asked by a human rights group to cancel an upcoming show in Belarus, claiming that the rapper is a pawn in upcoming elections that could end the 26-year reign of dictator Alexander Lushashenko.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the US-based Human Rights Foundation has requested that Tyga (real name Michael Ray Stevenson) withdraw from his August 8 performance at Hip Hop Fireworks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, noting that the event sponsored by the government is scheduled for the night before the country’s presidential elections and is part of a “plan to distract protesters from opposition rallies.”
In a letter sent to the rapper, the foundation hints that Tyga is an unwitting pawn in a larger scheme, claiming that the concert was “organized and financed by the Belarusian dictatorship, led by Alexander Lukashenko,” adding that under his leadership the country ha “No freedom of expression, no freedom of assembly and no freedom of association.”
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Human rights in Belarus, the foundation notes, are virtually non-existent under Lushashenko’s authoritarian regime.
“This performance, scheduled for the day before the Belarus elections, is not a coincidence. It is an excuse to cancel the latest opposition election rally and prevent ordinary Belarusians from showing their support for freedom and democracy, ”HRF President Thor Halvorssen said in a statement. “It is also a deliberate attempt to deflect attention from the massive electoral fraud that is already occurring across the country. In short: his concert will serve as propaganda for the authoritarian Lukashenko regime the day before the elections. “
Halvorssen added: “His support for the Lukashenko regime will greatly undermine the activism he has encouraged in the United States and provide the Belarusian dictator with a useful propaganda stunt. We hope that he will side with the Belarusian people and not with their oppressor. He must decline the invitation to act for the dictator. “
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Tyga has not yet responded to HRF’s request.