The UK Delegation to the Council of Europe has attacked the decision by a court in a part of east Ukraine to sentence to death Aiden Aslin, from Newark, Shaun Pinner, from Watford, and Saaudun Brahim from Morocco on charges of “terrorism”.
Donetsk, where the charges were brought, is controlled by Russia.
Leader of the UK Delegation, John Howell MP, has said: “This is a barbaric decision by a court under Russian control. The hearing was an old-fashioned Russian show trial. We call on the UK and Ukrainian governments to support these men and for the international community to condemn Russia for this monstrous decision.
“All three men are entitled to protection under the Geneva conventions. Russia and her supporters will know that the Council of Europe has had the death penalty abolished across Europe and this travesty of law is a disgrace.”
Tony Lloyd MP, leader of UK Labour MPs and Peers at the Council of Europe, added: “The Russian-backed court is trying to use ‘quasi-judicial’ as the excuse for these sentences. That is a total mockery of the term. They were serving members of Ukraine’s armed forces and should be treated as such.”
No 10 and the Foreign Secretary have equally both been critical of the court ruling. The UK Delegation supports their position and urges them to take action to have the sentences reviewed and the death sentences revoked.
As the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić has said: “I firmly condemn the death penalty sentences issued today in the occupied Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The death penalty is incompatible with human dignity and constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment. It has no place on the European continent.”
Notes to Editors:
- The Parliamentary Assembly is the deliberative body and the driving force of the Council of Europe, to which parliamentarians are appointed by the national parliaments of the Assembly’s 46 member states.
- A list of Members of the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is available here. The Leader is John Howell OBE MP
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