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Uzbekistan court shuts down another foreign NGO

TASHKENT, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - An Uzbek court has ruled to shut down a U.S.-based non-governmental organization in the latest ban on foreign NGOs in recent months, a court source said Wednesday.

Tashkent has accused a number of overseas-based NGOs of supporting opposition forces and attempting to discredit the country following bloody violence in the southeastern city of Andijan last May.

The Tashkent court said the decision was based on a motion by the Ministry of Justice to ban Crosslink Development International because its activities were allegedly inconsistent with its charter and following numerous legal violations.

"The organization did not report on programs it implemented, carried out unlicensed educational activities and granted loans in cash without the involvement of banking institutions," the source said.

The court found that the NGO had offered financial assistance to a religious movement, the Full Gospel Christian Church, under the cover of grant projects in Uzbekistan, where Islam is the dominant faith.

The NGO can appeal the judgment within 20 days until the decision comes into effect.

In the past six months, Uzbekistan has expelled the Urban Institute, Winrock International, the Eurasia Foundation, Freedom House, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the American Bar Association, Counterpart International, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study (ACCELS), according to IRIN, an independent news service within the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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