August 18, 2006 - Reports from Tashkent say a U.S.-based nonprofit group focused on local empowerment and sustainable development has lost its appeal of an Uzbek court's closure order.
The pro-government press-uz.info website says the appeals chamber of the Tashkent City Court upheld a July 26 ruling that requires Winrock International to end its operations in Uzbekistan.
Uzbek authorities accuse the group of publishing a booklet titled "Islam And Women" that they say misquotes the Koran. They also accuse the group of shooting video footage that "distorts conditions for Uzbek women."
Winrock International's website describes itself on its website as "a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural resources, and protect the environment."
It lists its areas of focus as agriculture and rural development, education and empowerment, and democracy and governance, among other things.
Uzbek courts have ordered the closure of several Western nongovernmental organizations in recent months -- accusing them of violating national laws.