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NGOs Protest Supervision By Kyrgyz Authorities

(RFE/RL) BISHKEK, 1 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- More than a 100 nongovernmental organizations are protesting a move of Kyrgyzstan's Justice Ministry to supervise the activities of foreign-funded NGOs, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Aziza Abdyrasulova, head of Torch of the Century human rights NGO amd a leader of the protest, told Radio Azattyk that the groups have delivered their appeal to the Kyrgyz presidential administration, but have not yet received a response.

The letter comes after Kyrgyz Justice Minister Marat Kaipov on 24 January said security services need to know if any NGOs "pose a threat to national security." He also said that NGOs deemed to be helping Kyrgyzstan should be supported.

Kyrgyz government figures say there are about 13,000 NGOs registered in the country, many of them focusing on developing democracy and civil society.

Kyrgyz NGOs played an important role in opposition activities that ousted President Askar Akaev's government in March 2005.

(with material from AFP)

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