Tajik Governor’s Friends, Relatives Illegally Get Free Land, Investigation Shows

SOMONIYON, Tajikistan — Land is in high demand around the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, as a growing number of people from across Tajikistan move to the capital in search of better jobs.

With house prices in Dushanbe beyond the reach of most Tajiks, a much-cheaper suburb in the Rudaki district has become the best place for many to settle. Some buy or rent houses, while others try to purchase land parcels to build their own homes.

But an investigation by RFE/RL’s Tajik Service has revealed that the high demand has led to corruption in the distribution of land in Rudaki, despite measures announced by state to root out “illegal land sales” in the sought-after district.

Multiple sources in Rudaki claim that former district Governor Rustam Akramzoda has fast-tracked several of his own relatives and acquaintances to obtain free land parcels.

Akramzoda, who was dismissed from his post in a reshuffle on

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