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Uzbekistan demands shutdown of US non-government organization

ITAR-TASS News Agency

August 11, 2006

Uzbekistan's Justice Ministry demanded that the office of the U.S. non-government organization Crosslink Development International in Tashkent be closed.

The Ministry passed the relevant presentation to the Tashkent City Court for civil suits, Justice Ministry officials said on Friday.

The Americans are accused of missionary activities among Muslims and Orthodox believers, of extending illegal money credits, opening branches in the republic without registering them with Uzbek executive bodies, as well as other violations of the Uzbek law on non-governmental organization and freedom of conscience, the Justice Ministry emphasized.

Crosslink Development International is headquartered in Minnesota, USA.

In the recent past, Uzbek authorities have shut down or suspended the operation of a number of region non-governmental organization, having accused them of proselytism.

Among those are Central Asian Free Exchange /CAFE/ of the United States and Korea's Institute of Asia Culture and Development and Korean Foundation for World Aid.

Tashkent believes that the attempts to lure to Protestantism representatives of Islam and Orthodox Christianity are not only resented by the clergy of the main confessions, but are also fraught with danger to the public.

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