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Monday, July 01, 2013

Move over Jenny from the Block. Now, Jennifer Lopez is 'Jenny from the Bloc

Jenny from the Eastern Bloc: Lopez forced to apologize for singing happy birthday to brutal Turkmen dictator accused of torture   

Move over Jenny from the Block. Now, Jennifer Lopez is 'Jenny from the Bloc.' 
The singer was forced to apologize after a concert in Turkmenistan on Satruday night because she sang 'Happy Birthday' to the repressive dictator of the country's brutal oppressive regime. 
Lopez reportedly changed into a traditional Turkmen outfit during her show and personally serenaded Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow - whose government is accused of arbitrarily arresting and torturing political dissidents.
Human Rights Watch ranks Turkmenistan as 'among the most repressive in the world.' The human rights group says the former Soviet republic imposes 'draconian restrictions on freedom of expression and association.'
Jenny from the Eastern Bloc: Jennifer Lopez is pictured here performing at a lavish concert for Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow's 56th birthday
Jenny from the Eastern Bloc: Jennifer Lopez is pictured here performing at a lavish concert for Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow's 56th birthday
Investors: The concert was sponsored by China National Petroleum Corp at the Caspian Sea resort town of Awaza, Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was in attendance
Investors: The concert was sponsored by China National Petroleum Corp at the Caspian Sea resort town of Awaza, Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was in attendance
Lopez appeared in a traditional Turkmen dress alongside other entertainers to sing 'Happy Birthday Mr President'
Lopez appeared in a traditional Turkmen dress alongside other entertainers to sing 'Happy Birthday Mr President'
The group also reports that 'President Berdymukhamedov, his relatives, and associates enjoy unlimited power and total control over all aspects of public life.'
The concert was sponsored by China National Petroleum Corp - a major investor in Turmenistan's booming gas industry - was meant to celebrate Berdimuhamedo's 56th birthday.
Lopez released a statement after the concert apologizing for signing for the president and saying she never would have attended to concert if she had known the country's human rights record. 

    The statement said the event was vetted by Lopez's representatives, but she wouldn't have attended if she had known about the accusations.
    According to the statement, the birthday song was a last-minute request made by the company to Lopez and she 'graciously obliged.'
     
    The president opened a $2billion resort in Awaza on the Caspian Sea the day before he JLo's performance there
    The president opened a $2billion resort in Awaza on the Caspian Sea the day before he JLo's performance there
    Human Rights Watch report that Berdymukhamedov and his family enjoy 'unlimited power' in the country
    Human Rights Watch report that Berdymukhamedov and his family enjoy 'unlimited power' in the country
    It appears that JLo and her entourage were blithely unaware of the deplorable conditions in the country. 
    The former American Idol judge's choreographer J.R. Taylor tweeted: 'The Turkmenistan Breeze feels amazing at night Kidz! I wonder were [sic] all my Turkmenistan followers are!? Hit me up!'
    That remark came in for fierce criticism from human rights watchers, who pointed out that nearly all social media - including Twitter - is blocked in Turkmenistan. 
    The tweet was later deleted.
    'Singing happy birthday to dictators while dissidents and journalists die in their torture chambers? Still Jenny from the block, @JLo?' Ronan Farrow, the celebrity human rights lawyer tweeted. 
    The concert took place in at a $2billion resort and yacht club on the Caspian Sea that Berdimuhamedow had opened just the day before. 
    Turkmenistan is a former Soviet bloc country of five million people that has seen enormous economic growth in recent years, owing to its huge gas reserves
    Turkmenistan is a former Soviet bloc country of five million people that has seen enormous economic growth in recent years, owing to its huge gas reserves
    Lopez wore a clingy, short dress and leggings and shook her world-famous bottom alongside half-naked backup dancers. 
    The glitzy performance for a rarity to the Muslim-majority country of five million people. In attendance were  government ministers, the heads of state-owned companies and foreign dignitaries. All of them clapped enthusiastically for the 43-year-old singer. 
    After her show, she appeared on stage in a traditional Turkmen dress alongside stars from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and China to sing 'Happy Birthday, Mr President' to Berdimuhamedow.
    'Lopez obviously has the right to earn a living performing for the dictator of her choice and his circle of cronies, but her actions utterly destroy the carefully-crafted message she has cultivated with her prior involvement with Amnesty International’s programs in Mexico aimed at curbing violence against women,' Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen said in a statement.

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