French website must prove Uzbekistan is a dictatorship

We’ve taken a few shots at Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s socialite/pop star/CEO/potential successor Gulnara over the years, but apparently it’s younger daughter Lola who’s the touchier one. Lola is currently suing the French news site Rue89 over an article describing her as a “dictator’s daughter.” Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Committee to Protect Journalists expains: Written ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

We've taken a few shots at Uzbek President Islam Karimov's socialite/pop star/CEO/potential successor Gulnara over the years, but apparently it's younger daughter Lola who's the touchier one. Lola is currently suing the French news site Rue89 over an article describing her as a "dictator's daughter." Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Committee to Protect Journalists expains:

Written by Augustin Scalbert and published on May 20, 2010, under the headline "AIDS: Uzbekistan represses at home but parades in Cannes," the article described how Karimova, the "dictator's daughter" and Uzbekistan's ambassador to UNESCO, was "whitewashing the image of Uzbekistan" by inviting jet-set celebrities to her glitzy philanthropic events. The article also mentioned that she had paid actress Monica Bellucci 190,000 euros (US$270,000) to appear in one of her charity balls.

The trial, which will take place just a few days after the sixth anniversary of the Andijan massacre, appears likely to backfire spectacularly for the Karimov family, giving the editors of Rue89 a high-profile public venue to make the not-very-hard-to-make case that Uzbekistan is, in fact, a dictatorship. 

We’ve taken a few shots at Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s socialite/pop star/CEO/potential successor Gulnara over the years, but apparently it’s younger daughter Lola who’s the touchier one. Lola is currently suing the French news site Rue89 over an article describing her as a “dictator’s daughter.” Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Committee to Protect Journalists expains:

Written by Augustin Scalbert and published on May 20, 2010, under the headline “AIDS: Uzbekistan represses at home but parades in Cannes,” the article described how Karimova, the “dictator’s daughter” and Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO, was “whitewashing the image of Uzbekistan” by inviting jet-set celebrities to her glitzy philanthropic events. The article also mentioned that she had paid actress Monica Bellucci 190,000 euros (US$270,000) to appear in one of her charity balls.

The trial, which will take place just a few days after the sixth anniversary of the Andijan massacre, appears likely to backfire spectacularly for the Karimov family, giving the editors of Rue89 a high-profile public venue to make the not-very-hard-to-make case that Uzbekistan is, in fact, a dictatorship. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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