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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tashkent Targets U.S. NGO

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Uzbek authorities Wednesday accused a U.S.-based health care aid group of breaking the law and supporting the "interests of homosexuals" in the country, where homosexuality is outlawed.

The medical nonprofit Population Services International failed to submit required legal paperwork from its headquarters in Washington and did not register its office rental contract, the Justice Ministry said in a statement posted online.

"PSI is especially famous for its projects universally asserting the interests of persons with unorthodox sexual orientation," the statement said, adding that homosexuality is punishable by up to three years in prison in Uzbekistan.

The ministry said it had given PSI 30 days to correct the alleged violations, a requirement that the government has voiced before shutting down other foreign-based nongovernmental organizations in the past.

The statement also alleged that PSI, founded in 1970, was created by U.S. entrepreneur Philip Harvey to promote the use of contraceptives produced by his sex-products company, Adam & Eve.

The PSI director in Uzbekistan, Robert Gray, said the organization would not comment. According to PSI's web site, the group has operations in more than 60 developing countries with programs focused on malaria, reproductive health, child survival and HIV.