European court orders Russia not to execute British soldiers captured in Mariupol

European court orders Russia not to execute British soldiers captured in Mariupol

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Russia not to execute two British soldiers captured in Mariupol while fighting in the Ukrainian army.

Earlier this month, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner were sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. They were falsely accused of being mercenaries when they were both fully enlisted in the Ukrainian military.

Russia “should ensure that the death penalty imposed on the applicants was not carried out”,   the ECHR said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the European court, the Britons joined the Ukrainian army in 2018. They had been deployed to Mariupol, where Ukrainian soldiers were defending the city as it came under intense bombardment from the Russians.

It went on to state that Russia must “ensure appropriate conditions of their detention and provide them with any necessary medical assistance and medication”.

However, the Russian parliament passed a law earlier this month that removed the country from the ECHR’s jurisdiction.

“Russia no longer complies with the prescriptions of the ECHR – that’s all there is to say,” said Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman. He added that “the fate of these mercenaries” would be decided by leaders in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Russian officials said the UK Government approached Moscow for help in freeing the Britons but was referred to the unrecognised leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic, in eastern Ukraine.

“We are doing everything we can to support the men and are in close contact with and helping their families,” said a Foreign Office spokesman.

“We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war for political purposes and have raised this with Russia. We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”

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Last Update: Thu, 30 Jun 22 12:06:08