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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Uzbeks Ban Human Rights Watch

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Human Rights Watch said it has been shut out of Uzbekistan, becoming the latest in a string of human rights groups barred since the bloody suppression of an uprising two years ago.

The move against Human Rights Watch comes weeks before the European Union is scheduled to decide whether to maintain sanctions it imposed after the crackdown in the eastern city of Andijan in May 2005.

The New York-based group said the director of its office in the Uzbek capital Tashkent had been notified by the Justice Ministry on Friday that she had been denied work accreditation because she had "exceeded her authority" and "worked outside the office charter."

"Without accredited staff, Human Rights Watch cannot legally carry out any work in the country," the group said in a statement Sunday.

According to rights groups and witnesses, government troops killed hundreds of civilians while putting down the Andijan uprising.

Since the uprising, the government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov has jailed at least 15 human rights activists on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said.