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Website Critical Of Uzbek Government Ceases Operation

A Germany-based news website focused on Uzbekistan has closed down, a month after the names of some of its contributors inside the Central Asian country were publicized following the hacking of the chief editor's computer and e-mail account.

The website of carried an announcement on December 20 saying the site had "ceased to exist" and thanking readers for their loyalty since the site opened on January 2005.

The closure comes after the site suspended operations a month ago citing "technical reasons."

At that time, chief editor Galima Bukharaeva, who lives in Germany, told journalists that her computer and e-mail account had been hacked.

She accused Uzbek security agents of the hacking.

Information taken from her computer subsequently appeared on social-media sites and included invoices for payment of contributor fees to about a dozen journalists inside Uzbekistan. had carried articles and reports critical of the Uzbek government, which maintains a firm hold over media within the country.

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