Islam Abduganievich Karimov (Also transliterated as Islom Karimov) (born 30 January, 1938) is president of Uzbekistan.

Islam Karimov was born in Samarkand, and raised in a Soviet Union state orphanage. After studying engineering and economics in Tashkent, he became an official in the Communist Party.

He came to power as the party's First Secretary in Uzbekistan in 1989. On March 24, 1990 Karimov was named President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. He maintained power as Uzbekistan regained its indepedence in 1991, and continued as President with elections and referendums which some international observers have questioned the fairness of.

Karimov's record on civil rights and press freedom has met with considerable criticism in the international community.

Karimov is fighting against Islamist rebels trying to overthrow his government. He had sentenced Tohir Yuldashev and Juma Khodjiev aka Juma Namangani, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), to death in absentia. Namagani is said to have been killed in Afghanistan, but Yuldashev, who recently merged the IMU into the Islamic Movement of Central Asia, is still at large.

External Links