Brit fighters sentenced to death by Russia ‘forced to say they’re terrorists’


Two Brit fighters who fought on the frontline in Ukraine pleaded guilty to “undergoing training with the aim of carrying out terrorist activities” in a Russian kangaroo court.

The supreme court of the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has sentenced Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner to death on charges of them going to war against Vladimir Putin’s army as mercenaries.

The Sun reported that the men thought they were legal combatants entitled to be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, and said that the men were forced into a false confession.

Shaun Pinner, a former waste manager from Watford, Hertfordshire, told the publication on April 25: “We’re scared to death. Mariupol is my adopted city.

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British citizens Aiden Aslin (L) and Shaun Pinner (R) and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim (C) attend the sentencing hearing

“I’m not a freedom fighter — Mariupol is my home.”

Aiden, a former care worker from Newark, Nottinghamshire, said: “They have agreed to do a prisoner exchange with myself and Shaun.

“It is important Boris Johnson is able to help influence this decision.”



The men thought they were legal combatants entitled to be treated as prisoners of war
The men thought they were legal combatants entitled to be treated as prisoners of war

They are believed to have been talking at gunpoint.

The Sun said it did not report on their calls to their newsdesk at the time as the Foreign Office said it may “impact their safety”.

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Aslin and Pinner are understood to have admitted to “training in order to carry out terrorist activities” which violates Article 232 of the Criminal Code of the DPR.



Aiden Aslin in a courtroom cage at a location given as Donetsk, Ukraine
Aiden Aslin in a courtroom cage at a location given as Donetsk, Ukraine

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Pinner and Brahim also pleaded guilty to actions aimed at seizing power by force (Article 323 of the Criminal Code of the DPR).

The UK Government is “deeply concerned” by the news, with a No 10 spokesperson adding: “We have said continually that prisoners of war shouldn’t be exploited for political purposes.

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“You will know that under the Geneva Convention prisoners of war are entitled to combatant immunity and they should not be prosecuted for participation in hostilities.

“So we will continue to work with the Ukrainian authorities to try and secure the release of any British nationals who were serving in the Ukrainian armed forces and who are being held as prisoners of war.”