British citizen appeals death sentence for ‘mercenary activities’ in breakaway Donetsk
Andrew Butko, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
British citizen appeals death sentence for ‘mercenary activities’ in breakaway Donetsk

British citizen Aiden Aslin, who was sentenced to death last month for “forcible seizure of power and mercenary activities” in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Monday appealed his conviction, according to Russian news agencies TASS, which is state-owned, and Interfax.

Aslin was captured while fighting in Ukraine’s Mariupol and sentenced to death along with Shaun Pinner, another British citizen, and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun. The European Court of Human Rights last week urged Russia to ensure that the detainees’ conditions of detention are “appropriate” and remove the death penalties. 

According to a statement to Interfax from Aslin’s lawyer, “A cassation appeal against the sentence was lodged today.” This was confirmed by TASS, which quotes a source in the DPR high court as saying: “Today the lawyer of convicted Aslin Aiden filed an appeal to the Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Court with a request to change the sentence.”

According to TASS, Aslin’s lawyer also stated: “We ask to cancel the June 9, 2022 sentence for Aiden Aslin <…> over charges of [a crime, committed in a group] and [forceful seizure of power] and end the criminal case over these charges due to absence of signs of crime in the defendant’s actions.”

The head of the DPR has dismissed the idea of any prisoner exchanges or pardoning the British citizens, saying to Interfax, “I see no reason for that.” The DPR updated its criminal code last week to start executions from 2025.

Reportedly, Pinner and Saadoun appealed their sentences last week.