“As a result of concerns raised, we have canceled the Guli show on September 15th,” a spokesman for the Fashion Week producer told the Post.
IMG first asked Karimova, daughter of President Islam Karimov, to withdraw on her own, but she refused. The organizers then went ahead and cancelled her show of ethnic clothing anyway. Human rights groups raised concerns about the use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry and massive torture and imprisonment of political dissidents and religious believers.
Meanwhile, Mercedez Benz, the sponsor of Fashion Week, which has a joint venture with a state-controlled Uzbek company to sell buses in Uzbekistan, said they had nothing to do with Karimova getting the spot in the show in the first place:
“We have no influence on the contents of the fashion show or the program itself,” said Han Tjan, a spokesman for Mercedes. “We’re just sponsoring. If you’re the sponsor of the football game, you can’t decide who is playing.”