European Court of Human Rights grants “interim measures” to death penalty sentencing for two British nationals

Benjamin Brown and Chris Liakos

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has urged Russia to ensure that the death penalty imposed on two British nationals by a pro-Russian court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is not carried out.

The ECHR on Thursday announced it had decided to grant interim measures in the cases of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, calling on Russia to ensure “appropriate conditions of their detention” and to provide them with any necessary medical assistance.

“The European Court of Human Rights has decided to grant interim measures in the cases of Pinner v. Russia and Ukraine, and Aslin v. Russia and Ukraine (application nos. 31217/22 and 31233/22) concerning two British nationals who are members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the ECHR said in a press release.

The two nationals had surrendered to Russian forces, and have since been sentenced to death.

“The Court indicated in particular to the Government of the Russian Federation, under Rule 39 (interim measures) of the Rules of Court, that they should ensure that the death penalty imposed on the applicants was not carried out,” the ECHR added.

The ECHR can grant interim measures in cases in which the court believes there is an “imminent risk of irreparable harm.” Such measures are only passed on an “exceptional basis,” according to the court.

Russia remains party to the European Convention on Human Rights until September 16, the Council of Europe said. Its membership gives the court jurisdiction in cases involving the Russian Federation.

The court also said on Thursday that the issue of jurisdiction in the so-called DPR is under “active consideration.”

Thursday’s decision followed an application by Pinner and Aslin on Monday.

The two British citizens and Moroccan national Brahim Saadoune were sentenced to death on June 9, accused of being “mercenaries” for Ukraine, according to Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti.

The ECHR granted interim measures in Saadoune’s case on June 16.

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