Last minute attempt to stop execution of Brits in Ukraine issued by ECHR

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·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
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Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court. (AP)
Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court. (AP)

The European Court of Human Rights has issued measures to stop the execution of two British men held by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, Shaun Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire, were given the death penalty after being charged with being foreign mercenaries.

The pair were captured in the southern city of Mariupol in April, and argue as Ukrainian citizens they were fighting legitimately and so should be treated as prisoners of war.

Moscow claims the Geneva Convention does not apply to the men

A third man, Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim, has also been given the death penalty.

They were sentenced in a court in the Donetsk People's Republic, which is not internationally recognised.

Read more : Ex-president of Russia warns of World War Three if Nato encroaches on Crimea

FILE - Two British citizens Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right, and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim, center, sit behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk, in the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, June 9, 2022. Less than two weeks remain for two Britons and a Moroccan to appeal the death sentences imposed by separatist forces that captured them during fighting in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo, File)
Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right, and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim, center were given the death penalty by a pro-Russian court. (AP)

The ECHR said in a statement that it "indicated in particular to the government of the Russian Federation, under Rule 39 (interim measures) of the Rules of Court, that they should ensure that the death penalty imposed on the applicants was not carried out".

The ECHR no longer has jurisdiction in Russia after MPs voted to break ties with the continent’s main human rights body.

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Two laws were passed in June which formally ended Russia’s participation in the group, meaning it is unclear whether the Kremlin will comply with the order.

The sentencing for Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner has been labelled a “sham judgement” by British foreign secretary Liz Truss.

She tweeted: "I utterly condemn the sentencing of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner held by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.

Read more: Russian mother and daughter, 7 , injured in missile attack on Kyiv

(Twitter/@cossackgundi)
Aiden Aslin is a soldier in Ukraine and holds dual citizenship.(Twitter/@cossackgundi)

"They are prisoners of war. This is a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy.

"My thoughts are with the families. We continue to do everything we can to support them.

Mr Aslin's grandmother Pamela Hall claimed last week that his captors claimed no one from the UK “has made contact” to secure his release.

She said: “There are no words, just no words, it’s got to be everyone’s worst nightmare to have a member of your family threatened in this way.

"Aiden was extremely upset when he called his mother this morning. The bottom line is Aiden has said the DPR has told him nobody from the UK has made contact, and that he will be executed

"I have to believe what Aiden has said to us, that if the DPR don’t get some response then they will execute him. Obviously I hope that isn’t true."

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