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Uzbek president in intensive care after brain hemorrhage

Karimov has no obvious successor and the country has never held an election judged free and fair by international monitors

Published: Updated:

Strongman Uzbek President Islam Karimov is in intensive care after suffering a brain hemorrhage, his younger daughter wrote on social media on Monday.

“My father was hospitalized after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage on Saturday morning, and is now receiving treatment in an intensive care unit,” Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO, wrote on Instagram of the 78-year-old leader.

She added that “his condition is considered stable” but that “at the moment it is too early to make any predictions about his future health.”

Uzbekistan’s cabinet of ministers said Sunday that the leader of the ex-Soviet country had been “hospitalized” in a statement published by the state news agency that gave no details.

Authoritarian leader Karimov has long been the subject of rumors of ill health that are difficult to verify, since information in the Central Asian country is very tightly controlled.

He has held power in the strategic country bordering Afghanistan since before it gained independence from Moscow in 1991.

Karimov has no obvious successor and the country has never held an election judged free and fair by international monitors.

His elder daughter Gulnara Karimova, a flamboyant figure formerly seen as a potential successor, was detained under house arrest in 2014 after openly criticizing officials and family members on Twitter.

Karimov’s younger daughter Karimova-Tillyaeva is based in Paris. She revealed in a 2013 interview that she had not spoken to Gulnara for 12 years.