But on the other hand, the new powers that be continue to officially honor his name and even open monuments and museums to his memory, Askar Maminov of Kyrgyzstan’s Central Asian Monitor reports (
“When Mirziyoyev became president,” the analyst says, “he felt the distrust of society as a whole to the system of state power” Karimov had built. “Consequently, he had to extinguish any memory about Karimov so that he would not be identified with him, even though he was a Karimov cadre.”
Moreover, by doing this, Mirziyoyev killed several birds with one stone, Safoyev continues. He strengthened his own position and he set the terms for the upcoming election campaign, one in which he can separate himself from the crimes connected with the Karimov period.
But as Nadezhda Atayeva, an Uzbek human rights activist now living in exile in France, says, this separation does not mean that Mirziyoyev and his regime will recognize those actions as crimes. And it may not mean that in time, he and his people will not repeat them, given that they were involved with them in the past.
Kamoliddin Rabbimov, a former researcher at the Tashkent Institute for the Study of Civil Society, agrees. Mirziyoyev in the course of his rise under Karimov changed his tune as the leader changed his. When Karimov was harsh, so was Mirziyoyev; when he was less so, so too was the new man.
Despite that and despite the attacks on Karimov now, Rabbimov says, “authoritarianism has been preserved because the political elite of Uzbekistan still does not have sufficient intellectual and value resources in order to make the transition to democracy.” That remains very much the task of the future.