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Uzbekistan Probes U.S.-Based Media Group

Tashkent, 5 April 2005 -- Uzbek authorities have opened a criminal case against a U.S.-based media support group.

Svetlana Artikova, a spokeswoman for Uzbekistan's prosecutor-general, said today that the investigation was launched against the Internews Network for acting without a license.

"There are some kinds of activities which demand getting a license. Internews Network carried out its activities without a license and a criminal case was launched against it. Prosecutors are investigating the case now."

Internews supports projects to develop independent media. In Uzbekistan, the group provides training and support for some independent television stations.

Internews is the latest Western group to recently face pressure from Uzbek authorities. Last year, Uzbek authorities expelled the U.S.-based Open Society Institute, which promotes media and education programs.

(RFE/RL's Uzbek Service/AFP)