Music

Tyga Cancels Concert After Human Rights Foundation Raises Concerns

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Tyga cancelled his Saturday show in Minsk, Belarus, following an open letter from the Human Rights Foundation. The organization warned the rapper about ongoing human rights abuses in the country committed by the current president, Alexander Lukashenko. He is up for reelection Sunday.

“Your performance, scheduled for the day before Belarus’ elections, is no coincidence,” HRF President Thor Halvorssen wrote. “It is an excuse to cancel the opposition’s final electoral rally, and prevent ordinary Belarusians from showing their support for freedom and democracy. It is also a deliberate attempt to turn attention away from the massive electoral fraud that is already taking place across the country….Simply put: Your concert will serve as propaganda for Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime the day before the election.”

In its letter, Halvorssen drew parallels between the corruption and abuse in Belarus committed by police and Tyga’s support for Black Lives Matter and opposition to police brutality in the United States.

Tyga was scheduled to perform with SAINt JHN, but both have since cancelled and took to social media to explain to their followers.

“I was looking forward to playing in Minsk for my fans in Belarus in the spirit of bringing great music to a market I’ve never played before,” Tyga tweeted. “My performance was not politically motivated and to avoid any conflict with the Belarus elections, I will not be performing on August 8th in Minsk. I hope to be back to play for my fans there at a future date.”

SAINt JHN tweeted a video, saying, “Right now ain’t the time. This just ain’t it. ”

According to the Human Rights Foundation, there is no freedom of speech, assembly or association. Police brutality often goes unpunished, elections are not free and political opposition leaders are mistreated and imprisoned. Additionally, they claim Lukashenko has significantly downplayed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by going to the sauna, holding large concerts and encouraging people to drink vodka.