Human rights group dings Kanye for Kazakhstan trip

Human rights group dings Kanye for Kazakhstan trip

Credit: FilmMagic

Kanye West performs onstage at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 4 at 9:05 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Human Rights Foundation has criticized Kanye West for performing at a wedding in Kazakhstan, joining a chorus of detractors who say he legitimized the human rights violations of the nation's president.

The rapper performed at the wedding of Nursultan Nazarbayev's grandson last Saturday. The human rights group compared the appearance to a similar visit earlier this summer by Jennifer Lopez to Turkmenistan, which has its own history of human rights violations.

HRF President Thor Halvorssen says in a statement that Kazakhstan is a "human rights wasteland" where entertainers like West would be imprisoned for expressing their views.

West's publicist did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The foundation says Nazarbayev curbs the political rights of his people, suppresses the media and kidnaps the family members of dissidents to maintain his rule.

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