Dancehall superstar, Sean Paul has decided to play things on the safe side following death threats made against his life by a jihadi group in the Maldives; cancelling his appearance at a concert he was set to perform at in the island nation on New Year’s Eve.
The Grammy-winning deejay was threatened in a YouTube video released by the group last Wednesday in which they claimed that should Sean Paul go through with the performance as scheduled, ‘the world will see your burned and blood-drenched dead body.” The threat was made as part of a rant against the celebration of ‘western holidays’ and criticism of Maldivian government for accepting western practices.
In a statement released Monday night on his Facebook page, Sean Paul said he would not go through with the performance out of safety concerns and apologized to his fans in the country for the cancellation.
“Unfortunately, the world has reached a point where cyber threats must affect real life decisions,” he said. “With that said, due to safety concerns for my crew and the people of the Maldives attending the Tourist Arrival Countdown, it is with deep regret that I have come to the difficult decision to cancel my appearance.”
In the immediate aftermath of the threat, the Maldivian government labeled it as a ‘local hoax’ aimed at damaging the country’s international reputation, a sentiment shared by local police forces, bringing into question the validity of the threats. A Maldivian extremist group, Bilad Al-Sham Media, believed to the originators of the video and threat, denied any involvement.
Despite Sean Paul’s absence, the concert is expected to carry on, with extra security expected.
The Maldives is a country in the Indian Ocean made up of several atolls; renowned as being a vacation spot and honeymoon spot, with much of the country’s economy dependent on tourism.