War in Ukraine: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss raises issue of Britons facing death penalty in Donetsk with Ukrainian counterpart | policy news

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss raised the issue of two British men sentenced to death by a Russian-backed court with their Ukrainian counterpart.

said Truss the judgment handed over to Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner it was “a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention”.

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

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Aslin, 28, and Pinner, 48, were accused of being mercenaries after being captured in Mariupol in April during the intense struggle for control of the port city and later appearing in court in the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked” by the sentences imposed on them and ordered ministers to do “everything in their power” to secure their release.

A spokesperson for #10 said: “The Prime Minister was shocked by the sentence of these men. He is following the case closely and has asked the ministers to do everything in their power to try to reunite them with their families as soon as possible. .

“We completely condemn the false condemnation of these men to death. There is no justification whatsoever for this violation of the protection to which they are entitled.”

Asked whether the UK government would speak to Russia to secure his release, the spokesman said “we have no regular interaction with the Russians”.

They said the “priority” was to work with the Ukrainian government “to try to secure his release as soon as possible”.

“They receive protection under the Geneva Convention as members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which is why we want to continue working with them to try to free them as soon as possible.”

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Aiden Aslin reacts to death sentence

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declined to comment on the cases, saying they fall under the jurisdiction of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Lavrov told a news conference: “Currently, they are guided by the laws of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

“As these crimes were committed on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, everything else is speculation.

“I will not comment on the judiciary of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Earlier on Friday, government minister Robin Walker said the government would use “all diplomatic channels” to raise the case of the two Britons.

He told Sky News: “As the Foreign Secretary has made clear, we will offer all the support we can to them and their families.

“We were absolutely clear that these people must be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, there is no basis for them to be tried.

“This is an illegal court in a mock government that held this trial and we obviously do not recognize that it has authority, but we will continue to use all diplomatic channels to argue that they are prisoners of war who should be treated properly.”

He added: “We fully condemn the approach that has been taken here and will use all methods at our disposal to resolve this issue.”

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