A rally was held in Nottingham to campaign for the release of a British man facing execution by a firing squad in Russian-occupied Ukraine.
Aiden Aslin, 28, was captured along with Shaun Pinner, 48, in April while fighting with the Ukrainian Marines in the besieged city of Mariupol after their unit was forced to surrender.
His devastated family joined yesterday’s protest alongside Nottingham Ukraine Solidarity Campaign (NUSC) members who are calling on the government to do more to support UK nationals sentenced to death by the Russian proxy-court.
Mr Aslin’s grandmother Pamela Hall thanked the crowd of some 120 people that joined them in Old Market Square in a sign of solidarity.
Among them were Ukrainian and Russian residents of Nottinghamshire, where he is also from.
Organiser Pete Radcliff said the event was part of keeping up pressure to demand action against Russia, the BBC reported.
He said: ‘We need to defend him and all the other prisoners of war held by an unaccountable proxy-power of Russia in Donetsk.’
‘We have to demand that Putin’s war, his war-crimes and his occupation of parts of Ukraine ends.’
Mr Aslin is among three soldiers accused of being mercenaries for the Ukrainian forces.
All three defendants were forced to ‘plead guilty’ to the charges in front of TV cameras earlier this month.
They were convicted in what observers have branded a ‘show trial’ of attempting ‘a violent seizure of power’ by the ‘Supreme Court’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Mr Aslin’s family has been working with the Foreign Office to overturn the sham conviction and negotiate his release but there are fears ‘time is running out’.
His grandmother told the BBC last week: ‘There are no words, just no words, it’s got to be everyone’s worst nightmare to have a member of your family threatened in this way.
‘Aiden was extremely upset when he called his mother this morning.
‘The bottom line is Aiden has said the DPR has told him nobody from the UK has made contact, and that he will be executed.
‘I have to believe what Aiden has said to us, that if the DPR don’t get some response then they will execute him. Obviously I hope that isn’t true.’
Another rally in support of Mr Aslin was also held in his home town of Newark two weeks ago.
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