Uzbek President, Islam Karimov Is Dead
Uzbekistan President, Islam Karimov, one of Asia’s most authoritarian leaders, has died, Turkey announced on Friday.
However, there is no official confirmation from Uzbekistan on its President’s death, the BBC reports.
Mr. Karimov, 78 and in power since 1989, was taken to hospital last week after a brain haemorrhage but the government has only said he is critically ill.
Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, told a televised meeting that Mr. Karimov had died.
Uzbek state TV channels have dropped light entertainment programmes.
Mr. Karimov has no clear successor.
There is no legal political opposition and the media are tightly controlled by the state.
A United Nations report has described the use of torture as “systematic.”
Mr. Karimov often justified his strong-arm tactics by highlighting the danger from Islamist militancy in the mainly Muslim country, which borders Afghanistan.
“Uzbek President Islam Karimov has passed away,” the BBC quoted Mr. Yildirim as saying at a cabinet meeting.
“May God’s mercy be upon him, as the Turkish Republic we are sharing the pain and sorrow of Uzbek people.”