Lopez, on Saturday night, serenaded Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the leader of the country that was part of the Soviet Union. She had been performing at an event the China National Petroleum Corporation had hosted.
The publicist for Lopez said the singer would not have performed if she had been aware of the country having human rights issues.
The human rights record of Turkmenistan has been criticized heavily by many countries. The country is described by the Human Rights Watch as among the world’s most repressive.
Following a visit in June from the United Nations, Ivan Simonovic, the Asst. Secretary General on Human Rights said Turkmenistan made progress, however there was much work that was still needed to make sure it becomes in line with standards around the world.
During the Saturday night show, Lopez performed many of her hits. In a statement her publicist released following the event it said the event was not a political one and had knowledge of human rights be available Lopez would not have performed at the event.
The corporation made a last minute request for Lopez to sing Happy Birthday and she obliged, said her publicist’s statement.
Her fee for performing was not disclosed and she had not been scheduled to make a performance anywhere else in the country.
In 2007, Amnesty International, the human rights group, honored Lopez for Bordertown, the film set in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez, which was the center of over 10 years of unsolved murders and rapes of younger women.