The national culture agency of Uzbekistan, Uzbeknavo, has revoked the licences of five pop acts in its country, stating, “Their songs do not conform to our nation’s cultural traditions, they contradict our moral heritage and mentality,” according to a statement carried by the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

Singers Dilfuza Rahimova, Otabek Mutalhojaev and Dilshod Rahmonov, and groups Ummon and Mango, were targeted for their modernised Uzbek rhythms and poppy personas. Seven other acts were issued a warning and were given until July 1 to alter their music, bringing it in line with the agency’s rules.

A star whose music was not targeted was Gulnara Karimova, daughter to long-time president, Islam Karimov. Despite her music, launched under her stage name, Googoosha, mainly being English-language love ballads – and not featuring ‘the Motherland’ – Karimova has thus far escaped the wrath of Uzbeknavo.

President Karimova has ruled Uzbekistan since 1989 and has been accused of widespread human rights abuses. 

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