Tajikistan: President’s Brother Dies, 67

Authorities in Tajikistan have announced that the elder brother of the president has died of heart failure, aged 67.

According to official sources, Nuriddin Rahmon had lately been engaged in simple farming work and occupied no government posts, but he is known to have been a trusted advisor to his brother. The closeness of the sibling relationship has often been linked to the childhood trauma of the death of their older brother, Faiziddin, while he was serving in the army on the Crimean Peninsula.

President Emomali Rahmon, 65, has often recalled his family’s poverty and that their lack of money meant his brother’s remains could not be brought home and that he had to be buried on the border of Ukraine and Russia instead.

If Nuriddin Rahmon did not occupy any formal state positions, the same could not be said of his extended family. One son-in-law, Bahrom Kholmurodov, is head of the Foreign Ministry’s consular department. Another, Safar Djobirzoda, works in the anticorruption agency. Sulton Bekmurodzoda and Izzatullo Khurmatov, two other sons-in-law, hold jobs in the Health Ministry and Customs Service, respectively. His son is a district prosecutor. On and on it goes, in a manner characteristic of how plum government jobs are allocated in Tajikistan.

Nuriddin Rahmon was to be buried in his town, Danghara, on October 8.