A ‘dictator’s daughter’ has her day in court
None of us, even dictators, get to choose our families. In Tunisia, it was the absurdly lavish lifestyle of the Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s son that helped fuel the resentment of the country’s youth. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak’s wife and two sons are even less popular than he is. Now, in Uzbekistan, it’s long serving President Islam Karimov who is probably scratching his head at the behavior of one of his own children. Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva can’t compete with Ben Ali’s and Mubarak’s boys for corruption and graft, but she does offer something else: embarrassment.
Yesterday, a French court began to hear her case against the news Web site Rue89. Karimova-Tillyaeva is suing the small media outlet for an article it published last year that referred to her as a “dictator’s daughter.” Karimova-Tillyaeva, who serves as Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO, apparently didn’t take kindly to being described as an autocrat’s offspring, or to reading that her work at the U.N. body is a relatively transparent attempt to “whitewash her country’s image” before Western audiences.