07/28/2021, 09.11
TAJIKISTAN
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Dusanbe: president's nephews beat up health minister after mother's death

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Kurbonba Rakhmonova, Emomali Rakhmon’s sister, died of Covid-19 on July 20. Foreign specialists who had been treating her assessed the Tajik doctors' methods of treatment as unsuitable. Authorities deny the incident. It is not the first time that family members of the president are involved in acts of aggression.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The three sons of Kurbonba Rakhmonova, the 64-year-old sister of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, yesterday violently attacked Minister of Health and Welfare Džamoliddin Abdullozod, reports the Tajik section of Radio Svoboda.

The woman died on July 20 from the consequences of Covid-19 infection, which Tajiki authorities have long denied the spread of the Coronavirus the authorities.

Rakhmonova was being treated at the presidential administration's medical centre. Rakhmon invited specialists from Germany, Russia and Uzbekistan to the country to care for her, who within hours of her death assessed the treatment methods chosen by local doctors as unsuitable.

This conclusion triggered the anger and disbelief of Kurbonba's sons: Fakhriddin, Farrukh and Ziedali Safarova. Immediately after the death, the three of them lashed out at the doctors and medical staff who had been caring for their mother. Only the intervention of Rustam Emomali, eldest son of the president and his deputy, momentarily appeased the ire of the cousins.

Rakhmonova's sons then lashed out at Minister Abdullozod, who first received a very hard blow to the jaw, and then another to the head that caused him a head injury. Doctors treated him for "minor injuries," as reporters were told.

After the incident, during a press conference for the delivery by the U.S. of 1.5 million Moderna vaccines to Tajikistan, Deputy Health Minister Šodikhon Džamed denied any rumours about the beating by Rakhmon's relatives. He stated that Abdullozod is "on a business trip abroad."

Nonetheless it would seem that the Tajik Ministry of Interior has opened an investigation into the attack. According to Radio Svoboda's sources, so far the authorities have not charged or detained anyone. The death of Rakhmonova herself remains surrounded by mystery: the cause of her death has not yet been officially announced. Her family members buried her on July 21 in the cemetery of her hometown of Dangar.

Rakhmon's nephews had already been involved in a brawl in Dangar last May, in which another cousin, Amriddin Nakhšov, head of a gold mining company, was arrested. The president's relatives had broken into a house, where a group of employees of a competing company had gathered. More than 20 people ended up in hospital, while the authorities only charged Amriddin with "reprehensible behaviour" and released him on payment of a fine of 100 somoni (7 euros). The Tajik government denied it, saying that the president's nephews had intervened to quell an argument between "hot-headed boys".

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