Families of British soldiers facing death penalty in Ukraine may not even get their bodies back
Families of condemned Brits in Ukraine may not even get their bodies back: Strict criminal code of Kremlin-controlled region where soldiers are facing the death penalty means relatives are not told where their loves ones are buried
- Brits Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28, face execution by firing squad
- Criminal code in Kremlin-controlled region means bodies may not be returned
- Nor is the final burial place of the body revealed to the grieving family
- They were sentenced to death by a separatist court in Donetsk in a sham trial
- The pair were captured fighting for Ukraine in besieged city of Mariupol
If Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner pay the ultimate price for serving their adopted nation, their families may never get their bodies back.
While no one sentenced to death has ever actually been executed by the Donetsk People’s Republic, Vladimir Putin’s puppet regime does have a set of rules governing capital punishment.
The condemned man is held in solitary confinement until the firing squad is assembled, and may request a clergyman to conduct religious rites.
Victims are permitted a final meeting with relatives, according to chilling procedures set out in the Criminal Executive Code of the Kremlin-controlled region. But those same heartbroken loved ones face a double blow. The rules state: ‘The body of the executed prisoner is not given to his relatives and his place of burial is not disclosed.’
British fighters Aiden Aslin, 28, (left) and Shaun Pinner, 48, (right) were captured by Russian forces while fighting for Ukraine and put on trial in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic
There was an international outcry at the sham trial staged by Vladimir Putin’s puppet regime in occupied Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, which found the men guilty
British citizen Aiden Aslin is facing execution by firing squad if British and Ukrainian ministers cannot come up with a suitable hostage swap that would satisfy the Russians
Capital punishment is not allowed in Russia or Ukraine but Donetsk claims to be a breakaway state, even though Moscow pulls the strings. Its penal code, which is not recognised in international law, is a rewritten version of draconian laws drawn up under Joseph Stalin.
The document states the death penalty may be carried out only on convicts aged between 18 and 65, and women cannot be executed.
The condemned man may have ‘one short monthly meeting with close relatives’ – presumably only if they are prepared to travel through the warzone to the Russian-controlled territory. He is also permitted a ‘30-minute daily walk’.
When the grim day arrives, the man is escorted by armed guards to the execution yard. Under the penal code, he will die alone. It states: ‘If several convicts are executed, they are executed individually and in the absence of the others.’