June 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation denied the status of prisoners of war to foreigners sentenced to death

Britons sentenced to death in the DPR are not combatants and are not entitled to prisoner of war status under international humanitarian law, said Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. OHCHR condemned the verdict.

Zakharova’s commentary, which was published on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on Friday, says:

“Contrary to the statements of British officials, these citizens are not prisoners of war, but mercenaries. Mercenaries sent by the West to help the Kyiv nationalist regime are not combatants under international humanitarian law and do not have the right to prisoner of war status.”

At the same time, Zakharova noted that there were no requests from the UK regarding Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner, writes “Interfax”. She recalled that solutionissued by the Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic, concerns persons “accused of participating in hostilities on the side of Ukraine as mercenaries and sentenced to death for a combination of crimes”:

“For our part, we have repeatedly informed the British Embassy in Moscow that all questions of the captured British should be addressed to the authorities of the DPR or LPR. As far as we understand, London did not show any initiative in this regard, even despite the requests of the relatives of the mercenaries to the British authorities” .

Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner surrendered in Mariupol in mid-April. June 9th Supreme Court of the DPR sentenced them and the Moroccan Brahim Saadoun to death. In this regard, the British authorities have expressed serious concern about the imposition of death sentences. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said:

“Of course, we are deeply concerned about this. We constantly say that prisoners of war should not be used for political purposes. You know that, according to the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war have the right to immunity, they should not be tried for participating in hostilities.”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday condemned the death sentence imposed on three foreigners in the DPR. In a statement by a representative OHCHR Rabbi Shamdasani says:

“OHCHR is concerned that the so-called Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has handed down a death sentence on three servicemen. According to the Ukrainian High Command, all the men were part of the Ukrainian armed forces, and if so, they cannot be considered mercenaries. Such trials against prisoners of war are a war crime. We call for international protection for detained combatants and for their treatment in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.”

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