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Kyrgyz Minister Denies NGOs Being Targeted

(RFE/RL) 25 January 2006 -- Kyrgyz Justice Minister Marat Kaiypov has denied reports that he ordered a probe into nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive funding from abroad.

Responding to reports from 24 January, Kaiypov told AP news agency today that he may have been misquoted.

He said the Justice Ministry would not be allowed to carry out such probes and that his remarks pertained to religious organizations carrying out missionary work. Kaiypov said today that NGOs that contribute positively to the country will be supported.

NGOs are facing increased scrutiny across Central Asia and Russia amid concern that foreign countries are using the NGOs as a cover to carry out covert activities.

Kyrgyzstan, where a popular uprising ousted the administration of longtime President Askar Akaev in March, has to date been the most open of the Central Asian republics to foreign-funded NGOs.

(compiled from agency reports)

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