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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has spoken with Dmytro Kuleba, her Ukrainian counterpart, regarding the case of two British nationals who’ve been sentenced to death for fighting against Russian forces in Ukraine.
Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner were captured during the battle for Mariupol and have been tried by a court in Russian-held territory, the Donetsk People’s Republic.
However, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinne had been living in Ukraine at the time of the invasion. They joined the Ukrainian army after moving to the country a few years ago.
The Foreign Secretary says the death sentences are an “egregious breach of the Geneva convention.”
There are calls for the Russian ambassador to be summoned to the Foreign Office over the death sentences handed to two British soldiers.
Russia’s Foreign Minister said he could not intervene with the decision.
“At the moment, the processes are based on the regulations. The crimes were committed on the territory of the Republic. Everything else is subject to speculation. I wouldn’t interfere with the law system of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said Lavrov.
The Foreign Office appears reluctant to escalate this into a bilateral dispute with Moscow to avoid fuelling the false claims the men were British mercenaries. They say that as the men were regular Ukrainian marines, they should be represented by the Ukrainian government and afforded full POW status.
A former senior Russian government minister has told Times Radio that the death sentences given to British men fighting in Ukraine will be used as a bargaining tool by President Putin.
Russian state television said the man had a month to appeal. Aslin’s former MP said he hoped both men could be swapped for Russian prisoners. Shaun Pinner’s family MP said men’s rights must be safeguarded.
“Phony sentencing to death penalty of Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun is nothing else but a violation and mockery of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law obligations of russia as an occupying power via proxies.”
For now, the fate of Aidan Azlan and Shaun Pinner, the two British nationals sentenced to death remains uncertain.
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