“Over the past 24 hours, a number of reports resonated across the web that the occupiers are plotting to stage an ‘international’ tribunal against the Azov fighters – defenders of Mariupol and Azovstal. First, the enemy showcased the cages in the Mariupol Philharmonic, and later the report about the preparation for the show trial was confirmed by the head of the fake ‘DPR,’ Pushylin,” the appeal reads.
In this regard, the Association of Families of Azovstal Defenders declares:
1. An “international” tribunal is impossible in a “republic” recognized as a state only by such pseudo-states as South Abkhazia and Ossetia. A propaganda show is being staged, and no matter where it is held – be it Donetsk or Mariupol – it will not be recognized by anyone sane around the globe.
2. Ukraine’s military servicemen, who performed duties defined by the government and law on the territory of Ukraine, shall not be condemned by other states, let alone pseudo-states that are not recognized by anyone. Such a “tribunal” will be null and void in Ukraine’s legal field.
3. The rights of prisoners of war, who Azov defenders have become, in particular those with the Azov Regiment, are guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions of 1949. They emphasize that any encroachment on human dignity of POWs shall be prohibited, as well as their conviction or punishment without a prior judgment of a legitimate court. Therefore, all these shows involving courts or tribunals are absolutely contrary to the generally recognized international norms as regards the treatment of POWs.
The association appeals to the President of Ukraine and to international organizations, in particular the guarantors of the security of the Azovstal defenders – the ICRC and the UN – to prevent the holding of sham tribunals posing a threat to the fighters of the Azov Regiment.
“We urge all whom it may concern to verify information that you are spreading and not to engage in hyped-up posts carrying fake news. Our enemy is insidious – they spin such reports with the aim of further discrediting the Azov and leading the audience into their vile delusion. Today, a post with a similar false report collected more than 170,000 likes on Instagram. At the same time, actual news about the Azovstal defenders fails to garner even a tenth of such support. Be aware of media hygiene and search for the truth from reliable sources!” urged the families of Ukrainian defenders.
As reported, in the temporarily occupied Mariupol, the invaders plan to stage a sham trial of Ukrainian POWs.
Memo. Ukrainian troops held their defenses in Mariupol for more than 80 days. On May 16, by order of the top military leadership and under the guarantee of international humanitarian organizations, the defenders agreed to evacuate the Azovstal Metallurgical Plant that had been blocked by the invasion forces. Ukrainian POWs have since then been held in custody by Russia and their puppet entity “DPR.” Negotiations toward their release are ongoing.