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Islam Karimov: Ex-Soviet strongman who dominated Uzbekistan

Uzbek President Islam Karimov died on September 2, 2016Lambasted for brutally crushing dissent, Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov kept a stranglehold on power for over 25 years — even at the expense of his own daughter. The veteran leader, 78, who died on Friday several days after suffering a stroke, played Russia, China and the West off against one other to avoid total isolation as he steered his strategic state out of the collapse of the Soviet Union. “Islam Karimov has been the state for over quarter of a century, ruling with an iron fist,” Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, told AFP.

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