Russia-based scientist, as well as human rights activists, has called on President Putin to extend Russia’s moratorium on the death sentence to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).
A DNR court in June sentenced British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and Moroccan national Saadun Brahim-who fought alongside Ukraine’s forces-to death on charges of “mercenary activity” and attempted “forcible seizure of power.” Their lawyers have appealed the ruling.
As per the petition, “Mr President! Vladimir Vladimirovich! We are highly concerned about reports of the possible coming execution of death penalties handed down in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
The petition’s signatories, who includes film director Alexander Sokurov, journalist Eva Merkacheva and physicist Nikolai Rozanov, ask Putin to “suggest” the legal change to Pushilin.
Meanwhile, Director Sokurov said, “I really think that the death penalty in the territory where Slavic peoples live, in the space where Christianity works, is generally unacceptable.”
The signatories pointed to works by notable Russian thinkers just like Leo Tolstoy and Count Nikolai Mordvinov, and the 1744 order by Empress Elizabeth of Russia, which temporarily suspended capital punishment in the Russian Empire, to support their argument.
The authors added, “Mercy is the strength of our Russian people. We ask you for Mercy. We consider it necessary to abolish the death penalty in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Over 200 people have signed the petition so far. DNR leader Denis Pushilin said in June that he didn’t see any reason “for any mitigation or modification of the sentence” against the three men.