Family of captured Briton declare ‘propaganda’ video breached Geneva Convention

The household of a British man captured whereas combating with Ukrainian armed forces have spoken of their misery at TV footage of him proven on Russian tv.

Relatives of Aiden Aslin additionally denounced claims that the 28-year-old is a “volunteer, a mercenary, or a spy” as propaganda issued by the Kremlin.

In a press release issued via their MP Robert Jenrick, who represents Newark in Nottinghamshire, the captive’s household stated: “In 2018 Aiden moved to Ukraine where he met his girlfriend and eventually settled down in Mykolaiv.

“Aiden decided to join the Ukrainian marines and has served in his unit for nearly four years.

“He is not, contrary to the Kremlin’s propaganda, a volunteer, a mercenary, or a spy. Aiden was making plans for his future outside the military, but like all Ukrainians, his life was turned upside down by Putin’s barbarous invasion.

“He has played his part in defending Ukraine’s right to self-determination. The video of Aiden speaking under duress and having clearly suffered physical injuries is deeply distressing.

“Using images and videos of prisoners of war is in contravention of the Geneva Convention and must stop.

“Together with the family of Shaun Pinner (the second Britain captured in Mariupol), we are in contact with the Foreign Office to ensure the Russian authorities meet their obligations to prisoners of war under international law, and ultimately to secure the release of Aiden and Shaun.

Pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk has been held in Ukraine (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)


“Aiden is a much-loved young man with a strong network of friends around him and a loving wife-to-be. In this difficult time, we urge you to respect the privacy of our family.”

Family members beforehand described Ukraine as Mr Aslin’s adopted nation.

Images aired on Russian tv earlier this week appeared to indicate Mr Aslin being led round in handcuffs with a lower on his brow.

The household assertion got here after Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis refused to be drawn on solutions of a potential prisoner change when requested about stories of Britons captured whereas combating for the Ukrainian army.

In footage broadcast on Russia’s Rossiya 24 on Monday, Mr Pinner addressed Boris Johnson and appeared to ask for himself and Mr Aslin to be swapped for pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who has been held in Ukraine.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk (Alamy/PA)

Ukraine’s former defence minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk informed The Times the 2 Britons have been respectable members of the nation’s armed forces.

Parading Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner, 48, on state tv was a violation of the Geneva Convention, Mr Zagorodnyuk stated.

He informed the newspaper: “There is a very clear process in Ukraine to accept international soldiers or service people. It has been fully legal, it has been official.

“Mercenaries usually are people making money (from conflict). That’s totally not the case that we’ve got here.”

A video of Mr Aslin being questioned, stated to have been recorded within the Donetsk space on Monday, features a declare that he was a mercenary slightly than a prisoner of warfare.

Posted on the YouTube channel of British man Graham Phillips, who describes himself as a journalist, the “interview” reveals Mr Aslin being informed the demise penalty can be utilized in opposition to mercenaries.

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