Accessibility links

Uzbek Singer Loses License For Refusal To Pick Cotton

  • RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

A cotton field in Uzbekistan (file photo)

A cotton field in Uzbekistan (file photo)

A popular Uzbek singer, Jasur Umerov, has been stripped of his performing license after he failed to take part in mandatory cotton harvesting.

A representative of the Uzbeknavo license-issuing agency said Umerov's license was withdrawn on October 11 because he "had simulated illness to avoid cotton picking and his songs contradict the Uzbek national mentality."

All Uzbek entertainers must obtain licenses to perform in public.

Uzbek authorities have been criticized for years for forcing children to work against their will in the cotton fields. In recent years, not only children but teachers, actors, doctors, and athletes have been under pressure by the authorities to pick cotton, one of Uzbekistan's biggest exports.

Last year, more than 100 international clothing makers boycotted Uzbek cotton over the use of forced child labor.