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EU Provides Funds To Make Interpol More Accessible In Central Asia

The European Union has launched a 3 million-euro ($4 million) project aimed at improving Interpol access in Central Asia, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

The project will link hundreds of police agents in more than 50 cities throughout the region.

It is meant to quicken the arrests of suspected criminals by offering direct access to Interpol's database.

But in Uzbekistan's case, many observers note that President Islam Karimov's government uses Interpol to help repress dissidents.

In 2001, Uzbek Interpol Director Mahmod Hayyitov was dismissed for complicity in an assassination attempt of Uzbek opposition leader Muhammad Sali.

Russian Interpol says that it helped to arrest Urinboy Ergashev on extremism charges two weeks ago, even though he was not on an Interpol wanted list and his pending extradition to Uzbekistan has angered human rights activists.