Convicted mercenaries will be shot if their appeals are not granted, DPR head Denis Pushilin has said
Three convicted foreign volunteers who fought for Ukraine and were captured in Donbass will be executed by firing squad if their appeals are not granted by the court, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said on Wednesday.
On June 9, the republic’s Supreme Court sentenced three foreign fighters – two Brits and one Moroccan – to death, finding them guilty of being mercenaries and taking part in “Ukraine’s armed aggression,” attempting to overthrow the government of the DPR. Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, and Brahim Saaudun appealed the verdict.
“All foreigners filed an appeal; we are waiting for the court hearing. If the court finds a measure of punishment appropriate, then the cases will be transferred to the executive service for the implementation of the sentence. It is carried out by firing squad,” Pushilin said.
Pushilin’s remarks were made on Soloviev.Live, a prominent journalist’s RuTube channel, the day after the moratorium on executions was officially lifted in the DPR.
Lawmakers explained their move to lift the moratorium, saying capital punishment serves “as a deterrent to the commission of especially heinous crimes, in particular crimes against the peace and security of mankind.”
The fighters surrendered to Russian and DPR forces in or near Mariupol, a port city that the DPR claims as part of its sovereign territory. The UK authorities have insisted its citizens be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. However, Britain is not formally at war with the DPR and does not recognize the republic as an independent state.
The lawyers of all three men have filed complaints, asking the court to reduce the punishment. The last appeal, by Aslin’s defense, was filed on July 4. The court confirmed the receipt of the complaints and said they would be considered within two months of the dates the documents were sent.
Officials in Donetsk consider the men to be mercenaries, who are not granted the same privileges as regular combatants under international law.