Outlawing the Emirate

Valery Dzutsev has some interesting insights on the Kremlin’s recent decision to outlaw the shadowy so-called “Caucasus Emirate” organization which apparently controls the movements and actions of jihadist insurgents throughout the North Caucasus region. The decision came into force on February 25. Why, some commentators wondered, has it taken Moscow two years to proscribe the Emirate?

Avraam Shmulevich, a commentator on the North Caucasus, ridiculed the court’s decision as it estimated the number of insurgents “from 50 to 1,500.” He wrote: “If, because of 50 or even 1,500 bandits, huge territories, whole federal districts are redrawn [a reference to the recent creation of the North Caucasus Federal District], these [militants] are cyborg-terminators, each of whom is worth 10,000 federal soldiers” (www.apn.ru, February 11).

However, on February 25, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office published a short notice about outlawing the Emirate that might shed some light on the reasons for the Supreme Court’s decision. According to the prosecutors, recognizing the organization as terrorist allows the law enforcement agencies to prosecute not only the active militants who launch the attacks, but also terrorists’ accomplices and ideologues, who act in support of the organization, including providing “informational support.” The announcement by the Prosecutor General’s Office promised that supporters of the Caucasus Emirate would be subject to anti-extremism legislation (www.genproc.gov.ru, February 25). 

I’ll add the link to Dzutsev’s article when it appears online. Update: it’s here.

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