Russia bans pro-Chechen website

A Moscow court has ordered access be blocked to a website associated with Chechen insurgents and those seeking to create a state in Russia-held North Caucasus region, prosecutors said.

Russia bans pro-Chechen website

A Moscow court has ordered access be blocked to a website associated with Chechen insurgents and those seeking to create a state in Russia-held North Caucasus region, prosecutors said on Monday.

The court ruled that www.kavkazcenter.com, which operates from Finland, be placed on a federal list of materials deemed to be "extremist", which serves as a guideline for Russian Internet providers.

By law, people surfing or spreading materials from the site will now be open to criminal prosecution. Russian providers mostly restrict access to materials listed as "extremist" by the state, but such rulings are poorly enforced and Russia cannot move to shutdown websites hosted in a third country.

Muslim insurgents, seeking to create an independent state in Russia-held mostly Muslim North Caucasus, are battling Russian forces decade after Moscow seized the power of Muslim region of Chechnya.

"The website positions itself as a Chechen independence and international pan-Islamist website. It contains a lot of extremely aggressive material," said Natalia Yudina of the Moscow-based Sova Centre which monitors "extremism" in Russia.

She said Internet providers in Russia should now block access to the site.

Kavkazcenter.com has operated out of Finland since providers in Lithuania and Sweden stopped hosting it following Russian pressure. Finland refused Moscow's pressure to close the website in January.

Agencies

Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2011, 12:22
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