A statue honouring the late Uzbek autocrat Islam Karimov has been unveiled in the heart of Moscow.
The monument, created by British sculptor Paul Day, stands outside the Uzbek Embassy in a public square named after Karimov. Thousands of Moscow residents signed a petition in a failed attempt to stop the sculpture’s installation, with widespread condemnation of Karimov’s notorious human rights abuses.
The opening ceremony was attended by Karimov’s widow as well as senior Russian and Uzbek officials.
The installation of the statue was sponsored by the Karimov Foundation, an organisation founded by the politician’s daughter, Lola Karimova, who thanked Moscow for the “respect” shown to her father in an Instagram post on Thursday.
Karimov became president of independent Uzbekistan in 1991, holding the position until his death 25 years later. His regime was repeatedly criticised for political repression and its brutal policing methods, with a 2002 United Nations report describing a culture of “institutionalised, systematic, and rampant torture.”