Dictator’s Daughter Sues Website for Saying Her Father is a Dictator
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Lola Karimova-Tillayeva, the younger daughter of Uzbekistan’s dictator, is suing the French news website Rue89 for libel and for characterizing her father as an authoritarian ruler.
Rue89 ran a story which said Karimova-Tillayeva, who is Uzbekistan’s envoy to UNESCO, paid Italian actress Monica Bellucci £165,000 to attend a Paris event, one of many public relations attempts to “whitewash her country’s image.”
She also took offense to Rue89’s characterization of her as a “dictator’s daughter.”
Uzbek President Islam Karimov has a reputation of ruthlessly cracking down on dissent and activists, including those distributing literature about HIV and AIDS, according to human rights organizations.
The story also noted that while Karimov’s elder daughter, Gulnara, co-chaired the Cinema against AIDS event at the Cannes Film Festival, her father was mistreating AIDS activists at home. Back in Uzbekistan, Maksim Popov was sentenced to seven years in prison for distributing leaflets a court deemed “contrary to the mentality and moral basis of the Uzbek people’s society, religion, culture, and traditions.”
Is Islam Karimov a dictator? Most definitely. He was fortunate to be the leader of Uzbekistan at the time that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Karimov simply changed the name of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan to the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, and allowed all the people who had ruled the republic under communism to remain in power. He then shoved through a new constitution that allowed him to appoint and dismiss all judges, dissolve parliament in case of “insurmountable difficulties” between himself and the deputies, and appoint and dismiss all regional administrators.
In 2003, Karimov ordered the parliament to pass a law that made him and all members of his family immune from prosecution forever. Later he made it illegal to refuse to praise him and his policies during religious services. Actually insulting him was punishable by up to five years in prison.
Karimova-Tillayeva is seeking 30,000 Euros ($42,700) from the news site for moral damages. Human rights group welcomed the lawsuit, viewing it as an unexpected opportunity to call attention to Karimov’s abuses.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Uzbek President's Daughter Sues French Website for Calling Dad A Dictator (by Farangis Najibullah, Radio Free Europe)
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