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  • » 09/03/2016, 12.30


    Uzbekistan mourns its leader: Karimov, 27 years at helm of the country, is dead

    The authorities and the citizens prepare to bury President Islam Karimov, who died following a stroke at age 78. He had been hospitalized for six days amid rumors about his death. The funeral held in Samarkand, his hometown. Russian prime minister and other regional leaders in attendance

    Tashkent (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The authorities and the citizens of Uzbekistan are preparing to bury President Islam Karimov, one of the most authoritarian leaders in Asia, who died a few days ago at the age of 78. His death was confirmed yesterday by the Tashkent government, six days after his hospitalization following a stroke. The official announcement of his death follows days of uncertainty and alternation of rumors about the alleged disappearance of the head of state.

    The country will observe three days of national mourning for the death of its decade-long leader.

    Karimov led Uzbekistan for 27 years, without disdaining the use of an iron fist and repression - silent and systematic - of dissidents. He justified his use of force with the danger posed by Islamic extremist militias active in the country, particularly along the border with Afghanistan.

    The funeral, scheduled for today in the hometown of Samarkand, comes amid great uncertainty about the fate of the country. To date there are no clear indications for succession; the presence of Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the funeral might be an opportunity to sanction his rise as a potential successor.

    This morning, a funeral procession carried the body of the President to Tashkent airport, greeted along the way by uniformed policemen and citizens throwing flowers. His wife Tatyana Karimova and her daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, both dressed in black and in tears, boarded the flight bound for Karimov’s hometown.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, along with many other regional leaders are expected to attend. US President Barack Obama sent a message renewing his nation’s friendship and cooperation with Uzbekistan and its people.

    Under the Constitution Senate Speaker Nigmatulla Yuldashev will cover the functions of the President during the interim, pending new elections. However, according to experts he will hold the position for a long time. The challenge for the most important position in the country would be between the premier Mirziyoyev and his current deputy Rustam Azimov. 

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    See also

    01/09/2016 10:48:00 UZBEKISTAN
    Uzbekistan’s Karimov perhaps dead. Independence Day speech read by a presenter

    Islam Karimov was hospitalized for three days to cerebral hemorrhage. Traditionally, the president’s health is shrouded by the most absolute secrecy. If confirmed dead, the country should go to elections within three months. The names of the "eligible candidates" successors to the throne.

    11/03/2017 17:18:00 UZBEKISTAN
    Journalists and activists are released from prison under Shavkat Mirzyaev’s new version of tolerance

    The US Embassy in Uzbekistan welcomes the release of journalists and human rights activists jailed for political reasons by the previous president. They include Jamshid Karimov, known for his investigative reporting on illegal activities by the authorities. He has always been very active against media censorship and all forms of authoritarianism.

    16/03/2010 UZBEKISTAN
    Tashkent cracks down on business
    Many of the country’s top business leaders have been arrested. Little is known of what is going on and why, but some speak of tax fraud and corruption. Some analysts believe that President Karimov might be trying to wipe the slate clean and carry out a generational change among Uzbek elites. Ordinary Uzbeks should not be affected by the changes at the top.

    26/05/2005 CHINA – UZBEKISTAN
    Chinese warmly welcome Karimov

    16/04/2008 UZBEKISTAN
    Poet Yusuf Juma, one of Uzbekistan’s few free voices, sentenced to forced labour
    He gets five years for “resisting arrest and assaulting police officers”. But many believe he was punished for criticising President Karimov. One of his sons is also sentenced after being tortured in prison to extract a confession.

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