People gathered in Nottingham this weekend to call for the release of Aiden Aslin, a Newark man sentenced to death in a proxy court after his capture by Russian forces in Ukraine.
Aiden Aslin, a 28-year-old former care worker from Newark, along with fellow Brit Shaun Pinner, 48, and Moroccan national Saadun Brahim, were given a death penalty at an internationally unrecognised court after they were captured by Russian troops and held as mercenaries.
It comes after Aslin and Pinner, who are both believed to have moved to Ukraine to join the national army in 2018, long before the February 2022 invasion, were captured in Mariupol and paraded on Russian state television – in a call for a prisoner exchange with pro-Kremlin political Viktor Medvedchuk.
A protest was held at Nottingham’s Old Market Square in Sunday, June 26, organised by the Notts Ukraine Solidarity Campaign – it was attended by members of Aiden’s family and friends.
Protestors say that the decision to label Aslin as a mercenary is wrong, stating they have proof of him “swearing an oath” to the Ukrainian army in 2018, meaning he should be considered a prisoner of war as per the Geneva Convention.
There have been calls for the UK government to now step in and ensure that these men are not put to death, and it is hoped the protest over the weekend will help spread the word of Aiden’s story from his birthplace.
Organiser of the march, Pete Radcliffe, said: “What we are trying to do is send a message from his home county to the dictator of Russia, Russian forces, everybody, that we will campaign for Aiden, as we are campaigning for the freedom of the Ukrainian people.”