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Another U.S. NGO Faces Closure In Uzbekistan

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, May 2, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The Uzbek Justice Ministry is seeking the closure of another U.S. nongovernmental organization.

Justice officials accuse Counterpart International, which is funded by the U.S. State Department and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), of violating Uzbek laws.

In recent months, Uzbek authorities have shut down a number of U.S.-funded or international groups, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the group Freedom House, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's bureau in Tashkent.

Last month, authorities shut down a public-service project operated by the American Bar Association, an independent association of lawyers.

The Uzbek Justice Ministry had accused the group of providing legal aid to unregistered organizations and of establishing and supporting local NGOs.

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