*Human rights organization Amnesty International is coming to the defense of John Legend after groups blasted his decision to perform in Bahrain despite the nation’s record on torture.
Hot off of his Oscar win for “Glory,” the singer is booked to play a festival in the Middle Eastern nation on Monday, March 2, amid allegations the government has condoned the torture of detainees and launched violent crackdowns on protesters.
Legend defended his decision and vowed to go ahead with the gig in a bid to break down barriers in Bahrain.
He has now been backed up by Amnesty International, the human rights charity which enlisted him as a spokesman its 2014’s Write for Rights campaign.
Amnesty International U.K.’s head of policy and government affairs Allan Hogarth tells Britain’s The Independent newspaper, “(There is) no question that Bahrain has an awful human rights record… (But we don’t call for) boycotts of countries… (or) tell artists which countries they should or shouldn’t visit… John Legend has been a strong advocate for human rights, but where he plays concerts is, at the end of the day, a matter for him.”
Earlier this month, Legend pulled out of plans to attend an event at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California due to human rights issues relating to its owner, the Sultan of Brunei. A boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan was launched last year to protest against laws in the country which could allow women and members of the LBGT community to be stoned to death.