I could hardly believe this story that Eurasianet broke back in September of last year, about Sting's plan to give a concert for the Uzbek elite at the behest of Gulnora Karimova, daughter of dictator Islam Karimov. Tickets for $1,000? Nice, in a country with a minimum monthly wage of less than $20, and from a performer who styles himself as a champion of human rights. Then in February this year the UK Guardian came out with the news that the guy pocketed between $1 and $2 million US for the show, claiming he thought it had been sponsored by UNICEF. Right.
Since Gulnora is linked to the holding company Zeromax, which boasts thousands of acres planted under cotton, Sting's dirty money is likely to have been in part wrung out of the exhausted land by the tired little hands of Uzbek school-kids. Though to be 100% fair, Zeromax denies that it uses child labor to harvest its cotton (but this deserves a post of its own).
Everyone has a chance to let Sting know what they think of his moneymaking venture via this petition, asking him to sign over his profits from the show to the cause of Uzbek human rights.