A Look at Uzbek President Islam Karimov - Guardian, UK
- A Look at Uzbek President Islam Karimov
Monday March 29, 2004 8:01 PM
By The Associated Press
Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan's leader since the Soviet
era, has established a measure of stability with a
strict rule that some critics at home and abroad say
has cut into human rights and freedoms.
Named Communist Party chief in 1989 by then-Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev, Karimov was elected Uzbek
president in December 1991 as the Soviet Union
collapsed. Now 66, his current term extends to 2007.
Karimov has pursued a brutal campaign against
dissident Muslims and has banned opposition groups.
At first he was praised for controlling ethnic and
religious passions in the country, but he later drew
criticism for his economic and political policies. The
Uzbek economy is still centrally controlled, with a
few officials overseeing the most lucrative sectors,
as well as trade.
Karimov was the first Central Asian leader to support
the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign after the Sept. 11
attacks, providing a key air base to American troops
for operations in neighboring Afghanistan.
More about Uzbekistan at:
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