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Azerbaijani Government Awarded Gold-Field Rights To President's Family

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

BAKU -- Novruz Allahverdiyev, 40, lives in a mud house in the village of Chovdar, a small mining town in the mountainous region near the border with Armenia. He is one of 800,000 internally displaced persons from the war with Armenia that battered his native Nagorno-Karabakh region in the early 1990s.

Allahverdiyev and members of 60 other displaced families found shelter and a place to farm in the mountains around Chovdar. Like many in his predicament, Allahverdiyev is patriotic, and the walls of his poor home are plastered with pages from an aging calendar featuring portraits of President Ilham Aliyev and his late father, former President Heydar Aliyev.

Allahverdiyev's family now faces yet another problem. A British mining company has taken over some of his land and has blocked one of the two streams his village relies on for water. Allahverdiyev is sure President Aliyev will help him and his community.

But his faith may be misplaced. What Allahverdiyev doesn't know is that the president and his family own a stake in the new mine. The U.K. company is actually a front for the first family.

To read the full story

This report was produced by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in cooperation with RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service. OCCRP project coordinator Paul Cristian Radu contributed from Bucharest, and RFE/RL correspondent Robert Coalson contributed from Prague

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Azerbaijani Government Awarded Gold-Field Rights To President's Family

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