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Death sentence for Britons fighting in Ukraine 'an egregious breach of Geneva Convention'

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that the death sentences given to two Britons in Ukraine were “an egregious violation of the Geneva Convention”.

Ms. Truss stated that she had talked to her Ukrainian counterpart to “discuss the efforts to secure release of prisoners de guerre held by Russian proxy”.

She tweeted, “The UK continues support Ukraine against Putin’s barbaric invasion.”



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After being captured in Mariupol in April, during intense fighting for control, Shaun Pinner (48) and Aiden Aslin (28), were charged with being mercenaries. They later appeared in court in Donetsk People’s Republic, the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was “appalled” at their sentences and ordered ministers to do everything they could to ensure their release.

A spokesperson for No 10 said that the prime minister was shocked at the sentencing. He has been closely following the case and asked ministers for assistance in reuniting them with their families as quickly as possible.

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“We condemn the death sentence of these men. This breach of their protection is completely unjustified.”

When asked if the UK would speak to Russia in order to secure their release, the spokesperson replied that “we don’t have regular interactions with the Russians”.

They stated that the priority was to work with Ukraine’s government “to ensure their release as soon as possible”.

“They are protected under the Geneva Convention as Ukrainian Armed Forces members. We want to keep working closely with them to get them out as soon as possible.”

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Aiden Aslin responds to death sentence

Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, declined to comment on these cases and said they were under the jurisdictions of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

“Currently, they are guided by laws of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said Mr Lavrov at a press conference.

“Because these crimes occurred on the territory of Donetsk People’s Republic all else is speculation.

“I won’t comment on Donetsk People’s Republic judiciary.”

Robin Walker, the minister of government, stated earlier Friday that the government will use all diplomatic channels to raise the case against the two Britons.

Sky News was told by him: “As foreign secretary has made it clear, we will offer any support we can to their families and them.

“We have made it clear that these individuals should be treated as prisoners-of-war under the Geneva Convention. There is no legal basis for them to be tried.

“This is an illegal court under a sham government. It has held this trial. We don’t recognize it as having any authority. However, we will continue to use diplomatic channels to prove that these prisoners of war should be treated accordingly.”

He said, “We utterly reject the approach taken here and will use all means to address this matter.”

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