Two British citizens and a Moroccan have been sentenced to death for fighting on Ukraine’s side, in a punishment handed down by the country’s pro-Moscow rebels.
The proceedings against the three captured fighters were denounced by Ukraine and the West as a sham and a violation of the rules of war.
A court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine finds the three fighters guilty of seeking the violent overthrow of power, an offense punishable by death in the unrecognized eastern republic. The men were also convicted of mercenary activities and terrorism.
Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reports that the defendants — identified as Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun — will face a firing squad. They have a month to appeal.
The separatist side argues that the three were “mercenaries” not entitled to the usual protections accorded prisoners of war. They are the first foreign fighters sentenced by Ukraine’s Russian-backed rebels.