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Top Tajik Official Says NGOs A Threat

KULOB, Tajikistan -- The chairman of Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security, Saimumin Yatimov, has accused nongovernmental organizations of posing a threat to the Central Asian country's security.

Speaking to university students in the southern city of Kulob on April 13, Yatimov said that some foreign countries "under cover of nongovernmental organizations are using methods that contradict Tajik society’s interests."

"For the first time in Tajikistan, some secret services...are cooperating with organized criminal groups, pay them to fight against our security, threaten the security of our people," Yatimov said.

He did not name any countries or organizations.

Yatimov's statement comes amid discussion in neighboring in Kyrgyzstan about a bill that would impose "foreign agent" status on NGOs that receive funding from abroad.

Opponents say the move is attempt to copy Russia, where a "foreign agent" law adopted in 2012 has been criticized by civil society groups and Western governments.