This week, Moroccan singer and charged serial rapist Saad Lamjarred announced he's set to return to stage with a performance at Saudi Arabia's Riyadh Season.
In a post uploaded to Instagram, the celebrity shared a poster of his Dec.18 concert in the kingdom alongside Lebanese star Myriam Fares and Kuwaiti band Miami.
"So happy to be back on stage," the singer wrote in the caption.
Head of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority Turki Al Al-Sheikh also confirmed the event in a tweet.
News of the event stirred up controversy in the kingdom. Many voiced out their opposition to Lamjarred's upcoming performance, citing his embroilment in several sexual harassment and rape cases over the past few years.
Thousands of Saudis are now calling on organizers of the event to cancel the singer's segment via a hashtag titled "We refuse to host Saad Lamjarred in Riyadh."
Saudi women expressed their outrage at the fact that the Moroccan celebrity was invited to perform in the kingdom despite his record of abuse. They understandably find it insulting for their country to host and celebrate a sexual harasser when a record number of harassment cases are reported in the kingdom on a daily basis.
What message does the dismissal of the singer's crimes send? It normalizes acts that women and victims of sexual harassment are trying to fight against every single day. The fact that men like Lamjarred are just simply being allowed to keep going with their careers even though they've been accused of such heinous crimes is revolting.
Not everyone in the kingdom thinks that, though, as some defended the singer's concert and even tried to dismiss his crimes. However, it wasn't long before Saudi women shut these defenders down.
Some did try to defend the charged harasser
Others were having absolutely none of that
We'll say it louder for the people in the back
Lamjarrad has managed to keep his career intact but his legal battles aren't over
The singer was accused of rape in three separate cases, two filed in France and one in the U.S. However, he nonchalantly kept his career going in the region, releasing tracks and music videos as usual.
But the fact that he's still being idolized in the region doesn't change the fact that Lamjarred has a criminal record when it comes to sexual harassment and was only recently released on bail in such a case.
A U.S. court indicted him of one back in 2016 after a woman accused him of physically and sexually assaulting her in Brooklyn in 2010. The singer allegedly fled the country after posting bail in the case. So practically, he's a fugitive and has never faced the charges held against him in the incident.
Months after being indicted in the U.S., Lamjarred was arrested in another rape case in France but was later released on bail, though he was banned from leaving the country.
In 2018, another victim accused him of raping and physically assaulting her. He was arrested yet again and later released on probation. Lamjarred returned to Morocco in August for a visit after months of being unable to leave France due to his legal troubles. But it seems he's back on the loose with plans to perform again as if life keeps going without the need for justice to be served.