Morocco calls on Russia to ensure fair trial to Moroccan citizen who fought for Ukraine

20 June, 07:34 PM
Moroccan Brahim Saadoun was sentenced to death by the Russian proxy state DNR (Photo:Supreme Court of «Donetsk People’s Republic» / Handout via REUTERS TV)

Moroccan Brahim Saadoun was sentenced to death by the Russian proxy state DNR (Photo:Supreme Court of «Donetsk People’s Republic» / Handout via REUTERS TV)

The National Human Rights Council of the Kingdom of Morocco has officially requested the Russian Federation to provide a fair trial for Brahim Saadoun, a Moroccan citizen and member of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, the institution stated on its website on June 18.

Saadoun was captured by Russian forces in mid-March, near the city of Volnovakha. A “court” of the Russian puppet authorities in Donetsk sentenced Saadoun to death for being a “mercenary.” Both the court and the charge are entirely fictitious.

“The council requested the Russian establishment make all efforts to ensure that Brahim Saadoun benefits from a fair trial during the appeal and to communicate with the concerned parties in order to see the conditions of his detention and respect international standards,” the council wrote.

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The council stated that the institution will do everything in its power to prevent a Moroccan citizen from being put to death.

Earlier, the European Court for Human Rights condemned Russia for the death sentence for Saadoun, asking it not to execute the penalty.

On June 9, the so-called “Supreme Court” of the Russian puppet authority in Donetsk sentenced three non-Ukrainian nationals to death for being “mercenaries”, despite the court carrying no jurisdiction, authority, and the fact that the three are not mercenaries. These are the Moroccan citizen Saadoun and two U.K. citizens, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner. All three had joined the Ukrainian military prior to the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Ukraine’s General Staff have state that all foreign citizens and stateless individuals who are participating in combat on the sovereign territory of Ukraine within the Armed Forces will qualify for signing a legal contract for military service, if they want to. As with all other Armed Forces servicemembers, these individuals will have the status of combatants. This means, in case of their detention by the enemy, they should be treated as prisoners of war.

U.K. foreign secretary Liz Truss spoke to Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba to coordinate the release of these prisoners.

Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has said that her office has launched an official investigation into the actions of the illegitimate “court” and the Russian puppet authorities in Donetsk that may be involved with this “ruling”.

According to presidential advisor Myhailo Podolyak, this “sentence” for non-Ukrainian combatants is needed for Russia’s domestic propaganda needs and won’t ever be legally recognized.

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