Uzbek President Karimov in intensive care after brain haemorrhage

Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who has ruled Uzbekistan since the fall of the Soviet Union nearly a quarter of a century ago, is being treated in an intensive care unit after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Karimov, who is 78, was hospitalized over the weekend but details about his condition were not released at that time. The president's daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, confirmed on Monday that her father was seriously ill.

"I would like to write here about the sad events that befell our family last weekend," Karimova-Tillyaeva wrote on her official Instagram account. "My father was hospitalised after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage on Saturday morning, and is now receiving treatment in an intensive care unit."

Karimova-Tillyaeva described her father's condition as "stable" but added that it is too soon to make any predictions about his future health. "My only request to everyone is to refrain from any speculations, and show respect to our family's right to privacy," she said.

Karimov has ruled Uzbekistan for more than a quarter of a century. He was initially chosen to succeed as the head of Uzbekistan's Communist Party in 1989 and he went on to become the republic's first president just a year later, when Uzbekistan was still part of the Soviet Union.

The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty in June 1990 - just three months into Karimov's first term as president - but it would take until September 1, 1991, for the nation to fully declare independence from the Soviet Union, which was dissolved nearly four months later.

Karimov has ruled the country ever since, staging four presidential elections that foreign observers heavily criticized as undemocratic.

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