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Yulia Vladimirovna Tymoshenko

Yulia Vladimirovna TymoshenkoTymoshenko

Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov


  • President of Uzbekistan
  • Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Economics
  • Place of birth: Samarkand
  • Date of birth: January 30, 1938

An authoritarian style, human rights violations and corruption are the results of Karimov’s reign in Uzbekistan. If you are politically or economically interested in Uzbekistan, you have to know its president since he will probably rule the country until his death. By Stefan Bernhardt

Karimov began his political career in 1966, when he was appointed as economic planner in the Uzbek planning office after being an aeronautical engineer. In 1989, he rose to the top of the Communist Party in Uzbekistan as First Secretary of the Party. After the declaration independence of Uzbekistan and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Karimov not only managed to prevail in the Uzbek presidential elections 1991, but also was able to use his power to preserve his position until today.

His presidency has since been marked by human rights violations, electoral fraud, censorship and an authoritarian or dictatorial style of leadership. Karimov has been suffering from massive criticism, especially for his state security authorities, which are repeatedly criticized by NGOs and the UN for their use of torture. With the 2005 Andijan massacre, Karimov's Uzbekistan entered international headlines: During a protest of the local citizens, up to 400 people are supposed to have been killed by security forces.

Domestically, Karimov could in this way secure his power and marginalize the opposition. Internationally, he was – until the Andijan massacre – able to establish himself as an important partner during the Afghanistan war. However, his advanced age and his massive crackdown on the opposition leave open the question of who will govern Uzbekistan after his death. From outside, it does not look like there is a regulation within Karimov’s circle, and the opposition has no chance.


  • 1961 - 1966: Worked as an aircraft engineer
  • 1966: Became economic planner for the Uzbek state planning office
  • 1983: Appointed Minister of Finance of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
  • 1986: Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic and Chairman of the state planning office
  • 1986 - 1989: First Secretary of the Kashkadarya provincial party committee
  • 1989: First Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan
  • 1990: Elected President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
  • 1991: Elected President of the independent Uzbekistan
  • 1995: A national referendum extended his presidency to 2000
  • 2000: Reelected for a five-year term as president
  • 2002: A national referendum extended his presidency to 2007
  • 2005: Andijan-Massacre
  • 2007: Elected for third term even though the Uzbek constitution prohibits a third term


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Picture (source): Helene C. Stikkel / public domain