Popular Uzbek singer Kaniza, who is best known for her songs “Hali-Hali” and “Kuyov Jo’ralar”, cannot perform on stage for the next few weeks. Authoritarian Uzbekistan has temporarily barred the popular singer from performing in front of an audience. The reason for the ban is her two viral videos, in which she is seen singing in high-heeled boots, nude leggings and an oversized shirt.
“The singer Kaniza has recently published videos on social media in which she behaves obscenely, contradicting behavioural ethics, promoting immoral ideas and offending viewers,” said Uzbekconzert, the government institution responsible for giving licenses to artists in the country, on Monday.
Artists in the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan can only work and perform in the country if they have a licence from the government.
Kaniza’s agent recently spoke to AFP and shared that the singer “simply sang two songs at a restaurant opening”.
According to the culture ministry, her suspension is a “one-month warning so she has time to reflect and draw the right conclusions”.
“If in one month she says she has understood and promises not to post such videos again, then her (licence) application will be considered,” the ministry added.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in Uzbekistan in 2016. He has promoted reforms unthinkable under his predecessor, an infamous rights abuser in the ex-Soviet region. His government however largely remains authoritarian and restricts freedom of expression.