Remember when Beyonce performed for Colonel Gaddafi’s son and caused a huge controversy in the process? It seems such practices may be more common than we first thought, as it turns out that Sting has performed at the behest of Gulnara Karimova, who is the daughter of notorious Uzbek dictator, Islam Karimov.
The singer allegedly received between £1m and £2m for the show, which was staged in October, and has forced Sting to release a statement. “I played in Uzbekistan a few months ago,” he said. “The concert was organized by the president’s daughter and I believe sponsored by Unicef.”
But a little snooping by The Guardian in the U.K. has revealed that Unicef wasn’t involved, and the organization is quoted as being “quite surprised” by Sting’s claim. The British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has also condemned the show in light of Sting’s words, in which he stated: “I seriously doubt whether the President of Uzbekistan cares in the slightest whether artists like myself come to play in his country.”
“This really is transparent bollocks,” wrote Murray. “He did not take a guitar and jam around the parks of Tashkent. He got paid over a million pounds to play an event specifically designed to glorify a barbarous regime. Is the man completely mad?” Guardian journalist Marina Hyde points out in her article that Karimov has been accused of “boiling his enemies, slaughtering his poverty-stricken people when they protest, and conscripting armies of children for slave labour.”
[via The Guardian]