Russia Urges Sweden to Ban Separatist Website

MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday urged Sweden to ban Kavkazcenter, the notorious Chechen separatists’ website.

The website, that has been the most powerful mouthpiece of North Caucasus separatists for about 13 years, was labeled extremist by a Russian court in September 2011.

“The fact that the website is being operated from outside Sweden starting from this summer, as Stockholm maintains, does not eliminate Sweden’s international legal obligations for the country’s authorities to legally ban the Kavkazcenter activities on its territory under the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee’s decision,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Kavkazcenter was established by one of the leaders of the Chechen separatists, Movladi Udugov, in then de-facto independent Chechnya in 1999. It was used to claim responsibility for a number of high-profile attacks, including the 2004 Beslan school siege and the 2011 bombing of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

The ministry also urged Sweden to extradite Eldar Khamzin, a member of the Hizb ut-Tahrir radical Islamist group who recently attempted to hold a protest outside the Russian embassy in Stockholm.

Founded in 1953, Hizb ut-Tahrir is active in Western countries despite being banned by many countries, including Russia, where it was put on the list of terrorist organizations in early 2003.


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