Russia threatens shutdown of BBC website

An interview with Artem Loskutov could provoke extremist activities, Russia's telecommunications authority said.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  Aug. 5, 2014 at 11:52 AM
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MOSCOW, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Russia threatened Tuesday to close down the British Broadcasting Corp. website over an interview with an advocate of Siberian secession.

Russian telecommunications authority Roskomnadzor ordered the BBC to remove an online interview with artist Artem Loskutov, who has a history of arrests in Russia for extremism and public art exhibits, the Russian newspaper Izvestia said.

A Roskomnadzor source said the interview "appeals to riots, extremist activities or participation in mass public activities conducted in violation of the legal order. We can fully block the BBC Russian service website on the territory of our country," Izvestia reported.

"In fact, not only we can, but we have to do it, because the Prosecutor General's Office has assigned Roskomnadzor to block the access to the sites and resources publishing information of that kind."

The threat can be seen as a response to imposition of Western sanctions against Russia's defense, banking and energy sectors in light of its actions in Ukraine.

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