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U.S. NGO In Uzbekistan Facing Closure

Harvesting cotton in Uzbekistan (ITAR-TASS) August 11, 2006 -- Uzbekistan's Justice Ministry has recommended the closure of a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization for illegal missionary activities.

The group, Crosslink Development International, is also accused of offering loans in cash, failing to register itself correctly, and failing to provide accurate book-keeping information to the authorities.

The Minnesota-based group defines itself as a non-profit development and relief organization. Among other programs, it provides small start-up loans to rural families who want to set up businesses.

The decision to close the group, which has been working in Central Asia since 1992, rests with the Tashkent city court.

Uzbek authorities have closed down a string of U.S. and other western NGOs in recent months.


RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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