LGBTI activists in Uzbekistan say that, despite high hopes for reform ever since Shavkat Mirziyoyev assumed the presidency in 2016, they continue to face routine violence and discrimination. The previous head of state Islam Karimov, who ruled the country for 27 years, did not address the issue of LGBTI rights. In a rare comment on this issue before his death in 2016, he said that these people “had some deviation in their heads”. When Mirziyoyev came to power, international rights organisations including HRW as well as diaspora LGBTI groups called on him to address discrimination against the community. So far, he has also made no public statements on LGBTI rights. Observers say that not only does violence against LGBT people often meet with public approval in Uzbekistan, but local human rights activists show little solidarity with those discriminated against for their sexual orientation.