July 3, 2022

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War in Ukraine: Death penalty for two British militants and one Moroccan separatist, London “serious concern”

“The Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic sentenced Aidan Aslin and Shawn Binny of Britain and Brahim Sadun of Morocco to death, accusing them of mercenary fighting,” the official Russian news agency TASS reported. Powell Kosovan, one of the three defendants, told TASS that all three defendants would “appeal.”

According to the TASS, Shawn later and Brahim Sadoon pleaded not guilty Wednesday to “mercenary” charges, but admitted to taking part in a fight aimed at “seizing power violently.”

Aidan Aslin’s family explained at the end of April that he had moved to Ukraine in 2018, where he met his girlfriend and finally settled in Mykolayiv. He decided to join the Ukrainian Navy and served in that division for almost four years.

“Unlike the Kremlin campaign, he was not a volunteer, mercenary or spy. Aidan was planning his future outside the military, but like all Ukrainians, his life was turned upside down by Putin’s barbaric invasion,” he said. Family.

Shawn later explained to his family that he was “not a volunteer or a mercenary, but officially serving in the Ukrainian army under Ukrainian law.” He emigrated to Ukraine in 2018 and married a Ukrainian.

Pro-Russian officials have indicated in recent weeks that captors of Ukrainian troops, including members of the nationalist Azov brigade, could face trial and the death penalty.

Russia has banned the death penalty since 1997, but not in the two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the International Security Assistance Force (ILF) in Ukraine condemned the investigation into Andrew Hill, one of its members captured by separatists. According to the organization, which brings together foreign volunteers fighting in Ukraine, Andrew Hill is a “soldier contracted by the Ukrainian army” and not a mercenary.

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It was not immediately clear whether the three men sentenced to death were members of the International Security Forces for Security in Ukraine.

Lidu, the official organization for foreign volunteer fighters, announced that four foreign volunteers, including a Frenchman, had been killed fighting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has said for its part this week that it has killed “hundreds” of foreign fighters in Ukraine since launching its offensive on February 24, blocking the flow of new recruits.

Downing Street ‘serious concern’

The United Kingdom on Thursday said it was “deeply concerned” over the death sentence announced by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine for two British militants enlisted in Ukrainian forces. “We are obviously very concerned. We reiterate that prisoners of war should not be exploited for political reasons,” said a spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war enjoy anti-war power and should not be prosecuted for participating in hostilities, ”Downing Street said.

“I strongly condemn the sentencing of Aidan Aslin and Shawn later arrested by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine. They are prisoners of war.