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Sting Cancels Kazakhstan Show Over Rights Abuses

Singer supports striking oil workers by scrapping gig

July 5, 2011 9:20 AM ET
Sting Cancels Kazakhstan Show Over Rights Abuses
PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

Sting canceled a concert in Kazakhstan over the weekend after learning that the Central Asian nation's oil workers have been on strike over alleged human rights violations. In a statement on his website, the singer said that he learned of the strike and the abuses through Amnesty International and felt compelled to scrap the gig, which would have occurred yesterday in the Kazakh capital city of Astana.

Photos: James Taylor, Sting, Bette Midler and More at Carnegie Hall

"Hunger strikes, imprisoned workers and tens of thousands on strike represents a virtual picket line which I have no intention of crossing," Sting said in the statement. "The Kazakh gas and oil workers and their families need our support and the spotlight of the international media on their situation in the hope of bringing about positive change."

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Sting is currently out on the European leg of his Symphonicity tour, in which he is performing several of his classic hits accompanied by a full concert orchestra.

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