She may be one of the best known pop stars in the world, but Nicki Minaj has drawn the attention of human rights groups around the world with her decision to perform for the Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. Minaj and fellow performer Gilbert Arenas will appear at a Christmas festival organized and sponsored by Unitel, a communications provider under the control of the President who has been called a dictator by various human rights groups. Human Rights Foundation founder Thor Halvorssen has written an open letter to Minaj detailing the reasons why her performance should be cancelled.
Venezuelan film producer and human rights advocate Halvorssen has been an active participant in the human rights movement since the mid 1980s when he began working to end the South African regime of apartheid. The chance to help others has seen the advocate head a number of different organizations relating to human rights before founding the Human Rights Foundation in 2005.
The issues relating to human rights have been brought home to Thor Halvorssen over the course of his life with the problems faced by his family in their native Venezuela. Both Halvorssen’s mother and father were involved in human rights abuses, including his mother being shot at a peaceful demonstration and his father being arrested and tortured despite his status as a diplomat. These family problems combined to affect the life of Thor Halvorssen and inspire him to create the foundation that now works to protect the lives of people around the world.
Nicki Minaj and Gilbert Arenas have been asked by the Human Rights Foundation to withdraw from the concert as Thor Halvorssen details the various violations committed by the Dos Santos family. Thor Halvorssen explains in the open letter to Minaj that the Dos Santos family have taken illegal control of the diamond and oil industries within Angola to create a monopoly and vast wealth under their own control. The President and his family are also accused of killing or imprisoning opponents to the regime, including journalists, politicians, and activists. By appearing at the concert Halvorssen believes Nicki Minaj and Gilbert Arenas are legitimizing the dictatorship of the Dos Santos family and the Unitel organization.