Human Rights Watch, a leading international human rights monitor, has lost accreditation for its staff in Tashkent and its branch office is now facing permanent closure in Uzbekistan, a representative told EurasiaNet today.
While Uzbek authorities have been granting some staff temporary 30-day visas, in a letter dated December 23, 2010 delivered late December 24, Gayrat Khidoyatov, deputy justice minister, told Human Rights Watch researcher Steve Swerdlow that his long-term accreditation was denied for alleged “lack of experience in cooperation with Uzbekistan and work in the region as a whole” and for a supposed “persistent practice of non-observation of the requirements of national law." Human Rights Watch denied the charges.
Last week, the Uzbek Supreme Court called Human Rights Watch’s Uzbek accountant to say that there will be a hearing today to liquidate the organization’s representative office in Tashkent, registered since 1996.
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