2 British Men and a Moroccan Sentenced to Death in Russian-Occupied Ukraine

Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, and Brahim Saadoun were convicted of being mercenaries in what's been denounced as a show trial.

Two British men and one Moroccan national have been sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court in eastern Ukraine, Russian state media has said. 

Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, Shaun Pinner, 48, from Watford, and Brahim Saadoun from Morocco, were convicted of being “mercenaries” in what has been denounced by observers as a show trial.

Video posted by Russian state broadcaster RIA Novosti showed the three men, handcuffed and with their heads shaved, inside a cage in the courtroom in Donetsk, a self-proclaimed breakaway republic.

The British men say they were contracted to serve with regular Ukrainian military units in Mariupol. They were captured in April. The killing or harm of a prisoner of war goes against the Geneva Conventions and would qualify as a war crime. 

Pro-Russian officials in Donetsk said the men had been convicted of terrorism, being part of a criminal group, and for attempting to seize power through force. The trial only lasted three days and was held behind closed doors, with only some elements broadcast on Russian state media.

While there is a death penalty moratorium in Russia itself, that does not apply in the disputed separatist territories in eastern Ukraine. It is likely that the three men are being used as bargaining chips, particularly to put pressure on the UK.


Tagged:

Ukraine, War crimes, ukraine invasion, worldnews, world conflict

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