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Lithuanian Court Backs Closure Of Chechen Website

20 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuania's Constitutional Court has ruled that security officials did not break the law when they ordered the closure of a Chechen separatist website based in the country.

Lithuania's State Security Department shut down the Kavkaz Center website last September after it posted a message purportedly from radical Chechen field commander Shamil Basaev. In the message, Basaev claimed responsibility for the capture of more than 1,000 hostages at a school in the North Ossetian town of see Beslan.

The crisis led to the deaths of more than 330 people, including nearly 200 children.

Lithuanian authorities said the statement violated government regulations that restrict information that condones violent or terrorist acts.

Kavkaz Center -- which reports on events in Chechnya in Russian, English, and Turkish -- has since moved to Sweden.