The homepage is called Kavkaz Center (http://kavkazcenter.net/eng/) and has substance with encouragement to Jihad and extreme violence. It describes itself as an independent Chechen news source and it is formally based in Sweden. The homepage shows for example videos of successful bombings and assasination combined with suggestive religious music. According to Medierna, there is also an explicit threat towards a Russian civil servant written by an anonymous person on the homepage.
What is special with this homepage is that in the middle of all this, there is a text claiming that the site is protected by the Swedish constitution of press freedom. This is the reason for Russian authorities to ask Sweden for help.
The Russian presecutor wanted to know who made the anonymous threat. The question was forwarded to Swedish Attorney-General, Göran Lambertz., who said no to the Russian demand.
The reason was, according to Lambertz, that the homepage has been granted authorization to publish which means that they have a strong protection in the Swedish constitution. This means that it is forbidden to give out the names of anonyme writers in the specific media source. The condition is that the news source must have a specific person that is entitled ´legally responsible publisher´.
But Medierna did some research about Kavkaz Center and it turned out that they might not have a legally responsible publisher. The person who was registered as the repsonsible publisher was telephoned by the Radio programme and he said that he had left the newspaper. He thought it had become too extreme.
Than, Medierna called the person who is, on the homepage, written down as the official publisher. This turned out to be a very young man who is studying in a small town in north-Sweden. He said on the phone to Medierna that he is certainly not the publisher of the site but that his uncle in Turkey convinced him to put his name on the paper.
Formally therefore, the news source seems not to have a legally responsible publisher. This does not mean however that their protection is taken away directly, but that it will be investigated.
Medierna brings in their programme an intricate question to debate. Is it possible that extreme organizations abroad use the strong Swedish press freedom to cover threats and extreme propaganda? It is obvious in this case that people in Sweden have been pressured to put their names on it to position the website in Sweden with its strong protection.
Kavkaz Center´s news site was started in Lithuania in the late 1990´s. After pressures from Russia it was however closed down. Then the site moved to Finland but the same thing happened. Now it has moved to Sweden and has a much stronger protection.
Medierna asked Mr Lamberts how this situation could be possible.
Lambertz: I have never seen this kind of situation before. If there is no legally responsible publisher, the authorization to publish and therefore the consittutional protection should be withdrawn. We might have to take a closer look at this.
Medierna: Is there a risk that Sweden becomes a free haven for spread of terror?
Lambertz: No, I do not think so. If you commit a crime in Sweden the authorities will take you.
Medierna: But, here they commit a crime (threats) without any reaction from Swedish authorities. You have not done anything in this case.
Lambertz: I do not act at all if there is no legal charge put up against them.
Note: The quotes are translated from Swedish and not exact.