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Islam Karimov
Islom Karimov
Ислам Каримов
1st President of Uzbekistan
In office
1 September 1991 – 2 September 2016
Prime Minister Abdulhashim Mutalov
Oʻtkir Sultonov
Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Vice President Shukrullo Mirsaidov
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Nigmatilla Yuldashev (Acting)
President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
In office
24 March 1990 – 1 September 1991
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan
In office
23 June 1989 – 1 September 1991
Preceded by Rafiq Nishonov
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Islom Abdugʻaniyevich Karimov

(1938-01-30)30 January 1938
Samarkand, Soviet Union
(now Samarkand, Uzbekistan)
Died 2 September 2016(2016-09-02) (aged 78)
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Political party Communist Party (Before 1991)
People's Democratic Party (1991–2007)
Liberal Democratic Party (2007–2016)
Spouse(s) Natalya Kuchmi (Divorced)
Tatyana Karimova (1967–2016)
Children 3, including Gulnara, Lola

Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov (Uzbek: Islom Abdugʻaniyevich Karimov; Russian: Ислам Абдуганиевич Каримов; 30 January 1938 – 2 September 2016) was the leader of Uzbekistan and its predecessor state, the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, from 1989 until his death in 2016. He was the last First Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan from 1989 to 1991, when the party was reconstituted as the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDP); he led the PDP until 1996. He was the President of the Uzbek SSR from 24 March 1990 until he declared the independence of Uzbekistan on 1 September 1991.

He declared Uzbekistan an independent nation on 31 August 1991 and subsequently won its first presidential election on 29 December 1991, with 86% of the vote. Foreign observers and opposition party cited voting irregularities, alleging state-run propaganda and a falsified vote count, although the opposing candidate and leader of the Erk Liberty Party, Muhammad Salih, had a chance to participate. Karimov's first presidential term was extended to 2000 by way of a referendum, and he was re-elected in 2000, 2007 and 2015, each time receiving over 90 percent of the vote.

Personal life

Karimov married his first wife, Natalya Petrovna Kuchmi, in 1964 and they had a son together, Petr, before divorcing. Karimov's wife, Tatyana Akbarovna Karimova, whom he married in 1967, is of Tajik and Russian origin. She is an economist. They had two daughters and five grandchildren.

His elder daughter Gulnara Karimova is an Uzbekistani diplomat, professor and businessperson. She is the founder and chairperson of The Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundations Board of Trustees and a number of NGOs focused on cultural and social aspects of life in Uzbekistan. However, his first daughter is seen as less than altruistic and allegations that her "organizations" are mere front organizations for her vast business holdings and image propping propaganda are well documented.

It has been reported that since February 2014, Gulnara has been under house arrest. She has been under investigation on charges of corruption, but has said that the "charges against her are politically motivated".

Karimov's second daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, is known in Uzbekistan for her role in promoting education and sports, as well as championing the rights of children. She is the founder of major charity organizations in Uzbekistan: "You are not alone", Republican Social Children's Fund for helping orphans, and Republican Center for Social Adaptation of Children, mainly focusing on disabled children and those from vulnerable groups.

Illness and death

Up until 2016, Karimov's health was never discussed by government officials and any information was closely guarded. There were rumors in March 2013 that he had suffered a heart attack, which were denied.

At approximately 9 a.m. on 27 August 2016, an unconscious Karimov was taken to the Central Clinical Hospital, according to the official medical report by the government of Uzbekistan. He underwent a CT scan that revealed he had suffered a "massive subarachnoid hemorrhage" (stroke). He went into cardiac arrest but cardiac activity was restored after 20 minutes of resuscitation attempts. He was in an "atonic coma with inhibition of the functions of the brain stem" and put on a ventilator. His daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva reported that he was in stable condition at an intensive care ward.

According to the official medical report, numerous experts were consulted on Karimov's condition on 27 and 28 August.

On 29 August 2016, there were unconfirmed reports that he had died that day at 15:30 UZT. On 31 August, Karimova-Tillyaeva cited possible "recovery", thus implying that her father was still alive. On 1 September, the 25th anniversary of Uzbekistan's independence, Karimov's speech was read on TV by a presenter. Karimova-Tillyaeva stated that public support was helping him recover and pleaded with the public not to speculate on his condition.

On the morning of 2 September, it was announced that Karimov was in a "critical condition". A few hours later Reuters reported the death of Karimov citing three diplomatic sources. Around 16:00 UZT the Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yıldırım expressed his condolences for the death of Karimov in a televised meeting becoming the first official to confirm the death.

According to the government report, Karimov was in stable neurological condition in a coma, but progressively began to experience multiple organ failure. He suffered another cardiac arrest at 20:15 UZT on 2 September and attempts to resuscitate him failed, and he was pronounced dead at 20:55 UZT (15:55 UTC).

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