Uzbeki human rights group shut down

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The Independent Online

Human Rights Watch has been forced to close its office in Uzbekistan after years of harassment by the authorities.

There has been growing pressure placed on rights activists in the country, despite international calls to implement democratic reforms. Human Rights Watch's executive director, Kenneth Roth, said the organisation's expulsion showed that Uzbekistan was not "willing to tolerate critical scrutiny of its human rights record".

Uzbekistan lies on a key supply route for Nato troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.