Sting cancels Kazakh concert over oil worker dispute

By REUTERS
July 3, 2011 19:34

 
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LONDON - British singer Sting has canceled a concert in the Kazakh capital Astana scheduled for Monday after human rights group Amnesty International informed the former Police frontman about what it described as a "crackdown" on oil workers there.

Several thousand workers at UzenMunaiGas, a unit of London-listed oil producer KazMunaiGas Exploration Production , went on strike on May 26, saying their salaries had been cut and their lawyer imprisoned on false charges.

The company has called the strike illegal and a spokesman said last week that around 250 employees had been fired for breaching their contract terms.

Sting, criticized for performing in 2009 in Uzbekistan which is widely regarded as one of the most repressive countries to emerge from the Soviet Union, described the treatment of the Kazakh workers as "unacceptable".

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