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Kyrgyzstan has prohibited singing along pre-recorded tracks at public cultural events, the country’s Ministry of Culture press service told journalists. The ban entered into force on January 1.

The order was signed by Minister of Culture, Information and Sport Altynbek Maksutov on Friday, Kyrgyz media outlets reported. The document prohibits lip-synching at state cultural events in theaters, cinema halls, museums, clubs, libraries, and sports venues. This ban also applies to mass public events.

Singers must sing live during cultural events,” the ministry’s press service said.

While it is unclear what penalties may be imposed on those who violate this new rule, the responsibility will rest with the organizers and hosts of relevant events. Kyrgyzstan’s culture minister will reportedly personally oversee compliance with the legislation.

The order was signed in February 2021 after the Kyrgyz Ministry of Culture obliged concert organizers to inform the audience whether the performance would be live or lip-synched, by printing relevant notices on tickets and posters.

At the time, former culture minister Nurzhigit Kadyrbekov noted that many did not want to give up lip-synching, citing the lack of adequate technical equipment.

Admitting that this might be the case, the minister said that the authorities chose to introduce the new requirement. “Culture starts with honesty. Let's not deceive viewers and listeners,” he stated.

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