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No signs of amnesty for the three accused by Ukrainian separatists

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The Associated Press

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Jim Heinz

Moscow (AP) — Two British and one Moroccan sentenced to death by separatists captured during the battle It takes less than two weeks to sue eastern Ukraine.

No obvious progress, no signs of official contact, and an increased likelihood that men will be shot by a shooting corps, a prominent move in one corner of Europe that has resisted the wave of abolition of capital punishment. increase.

The ruling inherited from the People's Republic of Doneck has led to widespread criticism from abroad, but has been upheld by Russian authorities. If they are implemented, perhaps in early July, it is likely to increase hostility between the two camps in the Ukrainian conflict.

Let's take a look at the case and its potential consequences:

Who is the accused man?

A DPR court on June 9 convicted Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner of Briton and Brahim Sadun of Morocco for terrorism and tried to overturn the constitutional order. After that, he dismissed the unit and sentenced him to death. They were allotted a month to sue the sentence.

The court claimed they were fighting as mercenaries. This exempts prisoners of the war who were fighting as part of a legitimate army from the observed protection. However, their supporters claim that they joined the regular army of Ukraine.

Is their execution likely?

The president of the separatist government, Dennis Psylin, seems determined to see through the ruling.

"I certainly have the right to forgive, but so far I don't see any prerequisites for exercising this right," he said in St. Petersburg, Russia. I told reporters at the International Economic Forum. "People who make money to kill civilians, namely women, children and the elderly, must receive appropriate punishment."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria. Zakarowa strongly supported the decision in the same forum, saying: War crimes by Ukrainian national militants and foreign mercenaries will not be punished.

Aslin's lawyer said the Britons were pessimistic about his outlook and British authorities had not contacted the DPR regarding the appeal.

The UK, like all other countries except Russia, does not recognize DPR as a sovereign nation. Russia said it would consider the appeal of the ruling. It is not clear if the UK has contacted Moscow about this incident. Saadoun's family sought help from Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it is unclear if there was any formal contact.

What is the impact?

Russia's willingness to consider its appeal underscores its influence, even though the separatist government in the Luhansk region, which is adjacent to Donetsk, is considered sovereign by Moscow.

Applying the death sentence only to foreigners underscores the frequent controversy between Kremlin and separatists, who argue that Ukraine is threatened by Western nations and other external forces. ing. The concept of a country that includes all Russian speakers.

Next, the death sentence imposed by an unrecognized country consolidates the Western view of Russia and its customers as revenge and contempt for international law.

Is this an escalation?

Russia and Belarus are the only European countries with death penalties. Russia has not been executed since 1996 and later declared a moratorium on the application of capital penalties. Ukraine itself abolished the death penalty in 2000, three years after the last execution. Latvia held the death penalty for wartime crimes until 2012.

Belarus has recently tightened its stance by adding "attempts of terrorism" as a capital crime.

It's unclear how the DPR intends to execute — in front of a few witnesses, in the eyes of the general public, or in secret. According to reports, the Belarusian procedure is notorious, the date of execution has not been announced, and the prisoner is informed that his death is imminent about two minutes before being shot in the back of his head.