Secretary of State Liz Truss has said the death sentences handed down to two Britons in Ukraine “are a grave breach of the Geneva Convention”.
Ms Truss said she had spoken to her Ukrainian counterpart to “discuss talks to secure the release of prisoners of war held by Russian plenipotentiaries”.
“The United Kingdom will continue to support Ukraine against Putin’s barbaric invasion,” she tweeted.
Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, have been accused of mercenaries after being imprisoned in Mariupol in April during the intense struggle for control of the port city and later appearing in court in the separatist People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was said to be “disgusted” by the sentences imposed on her and ordered ministers to do “everything in their power” to guarantee her release.
A spokesman for Number 10 said: “The Prime Minister was shocked by the condemnation of these men. He has been following the case closely and has asked Ministers to do everything in their power to try and unite them as soon as we can. with their families.
“We fully condemn the apparent condemnation of these men to death. There is absolutely no justification for this breach of the protection to which they are entitled.”
Asked whether the British government would talk to Russia to guarantee its release, the spokesman said “we have no regular interaction with the Russians”.
They said the “priority” was to work with the Ukrainian government “to try to guarantee their release as soon as possible”.
“They are being protected under the Geneva Convention as members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which is why we want to continue working closely with them to try to get them released as soon as possible.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declined to comment on the cases, saying they were under the jurisdiction of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Mr Lavrov told a news conference: “At present they are governed by the laws of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
“Because these crimes were committed on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, all the rest is speculation.
“I will not comment on the judicial power of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Robin Walker said the government would use “all diplomatic channels” to raise the issue of the two Britons.
He told Sky News: “Once the Secretary of State has made it clear, we will offer her and her families all the support we can.
“We have been quite clear that these people should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, there is no basis on which they can be tried.
“This is an illegal court in a sham government that has held this trial and we obviously do not recognize that it has authority, but we will continue to use all diplomatic channels to make the case that these are prisoners of war who should be treat accordingly. “
He added: “We fully condemn the approach taken here and we will use every method we have to address this issue.”
Ukraine’s War: Foreign Minister Liz Truss calls British death penalty ‘a terrible breach of Geneva Convention’ | Politics News
Source link Ukraine’s War: Foreign Minister Liz Truss calls British death penalty ‘a terrible breach of Geneva Convention’ | Politics News