Exclusive: Family of Newark's Aiden Aslin speak out after hearing of death sentence
The family of Newark's Aiden Aslin has spoken out after hearing he has been sentenced to death.
They are understandably devastated at the news, which has been reported by the Russian-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
Aiden, 28, and fellow prisoner of war from England Shaun Pinner, 48, were charged with being mercenaries despite being members of the Ukraine armed forces.
The court in the Donetsk People's Republic that has passed sentence is not internationally recognised.
Aiden's brother Nathan said: "We've heard the news from Donetsk and need some time to take everything in.
"We love Aiden with all our hearts. He and Shaun, as members of Ukrainian armed forces, should be treated with respect just like any other prisoners of war.
"They are not, and never were, mercenaries.
"We hope that this sentence will be overturned and beseech the government's of the UK and Ukraine to do everything in their power to have them returned to us safely, and soon.
"We can only imagine what they are going through right now.
"This is a very upsetting development and we ask that our privacy is respected at this time."
Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim has also been sentenced to death in the Donetsk People's Republic, which is held by pro-Russian rebels.
Both Newark's Aiden and Bedfordshire's Shaun were serving members of Ukraine’s armed forces and the UK has made clear they are prisoners of war entitled to immunity — and should not face prosecution for taking part in hostilities.
On Telegram, RIA News said: "The Supreme Court of the DPR passed the first sentence on mercenaries, the British Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and the Moroccan Saaudun Brahim were sentenced to death, RIA Novosti correspondent reports from the courtroom."