There have been multiple rumors that long-standing leader of Uzbekistan, president Islam Karimov, has died, and multiple reports that he was hospitalized after a cerebral hemorrhage today. Widely considered a dictator, his possible death has many observers concerned who will succeed the Central Asian leader, who has ruled the country since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
On Twitter, the reports created much confusion.
Well familiar with dictatorships, some in the Middle East commented on his death too, noting what many considered the brutality of his rule, including the killings of hundreds of unarmed protesters in 2005.
Islam Karimov died after being president for life (and the only president so far) of Uzbekistan. Even presidents for life die.
Islam Karimov died after being president for life (and the only president so far) of Uzbekistan. Even presidents for life die.— Iyad el-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) August 29, 2016
لم يمت إسلام كريموف. خبر مؤسف، لكن يبدو أنه سيفقد الأهلية. هو واحد من طغاة آسيا الوسطى الذين انتقلوا من الشيوعية إلى الشمولية المقنعة!!
Karimov did not die. Regrettable, but he seems to lose eligibility. He's one of the tyrants on Central Asia who moved from communism to disguised totolitarianism!
لم يمت إسلام كريموف. خبر مؤسف، لكن يبدو أنه سيفقد الأهلية. هو واحد من طغاة آسيا الوسطى الذين انتقلوا من الشيوعية إلى الشمولية المقنعة!!— ياسر الزعاترة (@YZaatreh) August 29, 2016
Others poked fun at the situation, including this tweet which instead of the year 2016 reads “grave,” and instead of 2017 reads “hell.”
Reports of Karymov's death remain unconfirmed at present, but international media and the Uzbek government claim he's in the hospital.