UARU
Power Struggle Ahead In Uzbekistan After Karimov Suffers Stroke
1 September, 2016

What You Need To Know:

 

✅ Karimov ran the central Asian country for the last 26 years;

 

✅ “He pioneered authoritarianism in a way that inspired other bad practices in human rights abuses around the world,”

 

✅ Uzbekistan has the highest number of political prisoners in the post-Soviet world and saw the worst massacre since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 2005 when government troops surrounded the city square and fired at protestors;

 

✅ “The human rights abuses in Uzbekistan and central Asia caused this instability.”

 

 

Rumors surrounding the death of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov have led many to question who will become his successor.  Karimov ran the central Asian country for the last 26 years – a country signature of a totalitarian regime. “He pioneered authoritarianism in a way that inspired other bad practices in human rights abuses around the world,” explains Steve Swerdlow, a Central Asia Researcher at Human Rights Watch.

 

 

Uzbekistan has the highest number of political prisoners in the post-Soviet world and saw the worst massacre since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 2005 when government troops surrounded the city square and fired at protestors. “A lot of people don’t often realize just how repressive Uzbekistan has been for the last quarter century,” says Swerdlow.

 

 

While Karimov’s death has yet to be confirmed, there is speculation of possible contenders who include the current prime minister, the head of the secret service, and the Minister of Finance.  All three are very much tied to the old regime.

 

 

Swerdlow says there is a serious concern in the region: “the human rights abuses in Uzbekistan and central Asia caused this instability.” Karimov has avoided much criticism, however, Swerdlow warns that if corruption and religious oppression ensue in the region, another uprising is likely to occur.

 

 

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia Researcher at Human Rights Watch on August 30th, 2016 in Kyiv.