As we learn from a recent RFE article, the journalists from Yeni Musavat are the latest members of the press to come under pressure in Azerbaijan. While the journalists aren't under fire from the government, the source of their problems is damn close. The president's brother - Jalal Aliyev - said he was offended by an article an article that claimed some unfinished buildings in the capital belong to him. The article also maintained that no one complains about their incomplete status because they're owned by the president's brother.
Makes sense to me - but Jalal is offended by this assertion.
I'm reminded of a few things.
1. The many construction sites all over Baku - sites that grew like mushrooms, in defiance of any understanding of the law of supply and demand. Who was going to live in these luxury apartments? Everyone just assumed that construction was some not so secret way of money laundering.
2. The conversation I had with a newspaper editor in the country, not long after I moved there. In our conversations, at a certain point he referred to another newspaper being owned by the family. I asked "what family?" "The family," he informed me, was the term referring to the president's family. It's not like the president himself owned all that much - but rather the holdings were like some sort of large & extended business.
So - his brother is in the family & he owns a bunch of buildings.
Surprised? I'm not.
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