Boris Johnson 'appalled' by death sentence for two Britons in Ukraine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "appalled" by the death sentences of two Britons by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, Downing Street said on Friday, saying he was working with Kyiv to get them released.

Boris Johnson 'appalled' by death sentence for two Britons in Ukraine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "appalled" by the death sentences of two Britons by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, Downing Street said on Friday, saying he was working with Kyiv to get them released.

• Read also: Ukraine bombs the Russians in Kherson, bloody fighting in Severodonetsk

• Read also: [LIVE] 107th day of war in Ukraine: here are all the latest developments

• Read also: Finland wants to build fences on its border with Russia

The Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and the Moroccan Brahim Saadoun, taken prisoner in Ukraine where they were fighting for Kyiv, were sentenced to death on Thursday for mercenary action by the justice of the separatist authorities in Donetsk.

"The prime minister is appalled by the sentencing of these men," his spokesman told reporters, insisting that London "supports Ukraine in its efforts to free them."

"Clearly they were serving in the Ukrainian armed forces and are prisoners of war," he added.

The head of British diplomacy Liz Truss - who on Thursday called the verdict "a show of judgment without legitimacy" - spoke Friday morning with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kouleba.

The two ministers “discussed efforts to secure the release of prisoners of war held by the Prorussians. The judgment against them is a flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention,” Ms. Truss tweeted.

MP and former Conservative minister Robert Jenrick, who represents Mr Aslin's constituency, called on the Foreign Office to summon the Russian ambassador to the UK.

"You cannot treat British citizens in this absolutely outrageous way," he told the BBC, saying Ukraine had assured him that Messrs. Aslin and Pinner would be released on a priority basis in view of a prisoner exchange between Kyiv and Moscow.

On Friday, the UN expressed concern over the death sentences of prisoners of war by pro-Russian rebels.

"We are worried. The United Nations Human Rights Office is concerned about the death sentence” of the three soldiers, said a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani.

“According to the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine, all these men were part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. If so, they should not be considered mercenaries,” she explained.

Four foreign volunteer soldiers, including a Frenchman, were killed fighting the Russian invasion of Ukraine, announced Lidu, the official body for foreign volunteer fighters.

Russia for its part claimed this week to have killed “hundreds” of foreign fighters in Ukraine since the start of its offensive on February 24, managing according to it to stem the flow of newcomers.

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS