DPR moves towards execution of British mercenaries — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Deputies of the Donetsk People’s Republic have lifted a moratorium on capital punishment, with three foreign fighters on death row

Lawmakers in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have lifted a moratorium on executions, citing threats to the vital interests of the Donbass republic. There are currently three foreign volunteers, who fought for Ukraine and were captured by DPR forces, awaiting their fate on death row.

On Friday, Elena Shishkina, chairperson of the Criminal and Administrative Legislation Committee of the DPR People’s Council, announced that « in light of the need to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and interests of the Donetsk People’s Republic under the existing military-political circumstances, it is proposed to declare » the ban on executions is null and void.

The official also pointed out that the death penalty is only imposed on those convicted of « particularly heinous crimes against life and certain crimes committed in time of war or in a combat environment ».

The mere fact that convicts can actually be executed will have a powerful deterrent effect on potential offenders, especially those who commit « crimes against the peace and security of mankind », the statement on the DPR’s parliamentary website reads.

With a majority of MPs voting in favor of the proposal, those facing the death penalty could be put to death as soon as the legislation is published.

On 9 June, the DPR Supreme Court sentenced two British nationals and a Moroccan national to death, finding them guilty of being mercenaries and of having participated in « The Armed Aggression of Ukraine » against the republic.

The fighters surrendered to DPR forces in mid-April in the town of Mariupol, which had seen weeks of heavy fighting between Ukrainian troops on one side and Russian and DPR forces on the other.

London insists its citizens must be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, even though Britain is not officially at war with the DPR and does not recognize the republic as an independent state. to start.

Donetsk officials have said they consider the captives mercenaries, meaning they are not under the protection of international law, unlike regular combatants.

On Monday, Aiden Aslin’s defense team said it appealed the death sentence. The Briton’s lawyer, Pavel Kosovan, told Russian media TASS he disputed two counts of the verdict – ‘commission of crimes by a group of people’ and ‘forceful seizure of power or violent retention of power – and sought to have the case closed « due to the absence of corpus delicti in the defendant’s actions. »

In late June, Aslin’s compatriot, Shaun Pinner, also appealed the court’s decision, with his lawyer asking for the death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.

The defense of Moroccan national Saadun Brahim also appealed last Friday.

The DPR court confirmed the receipt of the three requests.

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