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The government of the autonomous republic of Chechnya in Russia said last week it would ban all music deemed too fast or too slow, in an effort to preserve Chechen cultural heritage by a regime described as authoritarian, CNN reported.

Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov approved a bill requiring “all musical, vocal, and choreographic works” to have a tempo between 80 and 116 beats per minute (BPM), Culture Minister Musa Dadayev said. The law should force Chechen music and dance to be more in line with the nation’s “mentality and musical rhythm.”

The directive essentially means that many songs from genres such as pop or techno will be banned in the republic. For example, Chechens won’t be able to listen to Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies,’ at a toe-tapping 193 BPM, Politico explained, noting however that the artist’s Grammy-winning ‘Crazy in Love’ falls in the authorized range with its 99 BPM.

Chechnya, a Russian republic in the North Caucasus region, and which shares a border with Georgia, is predominately Muslim.

Kadyrov has ruled the republic since 2007, notably cracking down on dissent and minorities. A Kremlin appointee, he suppressed a separatist movement that had fought against Moscow for two decades.

The US State Department sanctioned him in 2020 for “gross violations of human rights,” including “torture and extra-judicial killings.”

In 2017, the United Nations spotlighted allegations that Chechen authorities were persecuting LGBT individuals. According to Kadyrov, there are no gay people in Chechnya.

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