British Justice Gave a Royal Gift to Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson


Ben Stimson is from a working class family and adheres to left-wing views. He considers the resistance of Donbass as an anti-imperialist fight against the US and their satellites, which include the present authorities of Ukraine. He traveled to the zone of the conflict with the help of the Other Russia party led by Eduard Limonov, which was actively engaged in the organization of military and humanitarian aid to Donbass. Stimson stayed on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics for only three and a half months — since the beginning of August until the end of November, 2015. He then returned to England where at the airport he was detained by police.

Charges were brought to Stimson under two articles of the 2006 British Law on the fight against terrorism. Article 5 (1) (a) punishment for participating in the preparation of terrorist attacks, Article 5 (1) (b) — for assistance to other persons in the commission of terrorist attacks.

The mere fact of the application in this case of anti-terrorist legislation speaks volumes about the malicious substitution of legal criteria with political ones.

In order to be prosecuted under the “terrorist” article, a criminal act of a terrorist nature has to be committed. For example, there is a terrorist attack, and a person is suspected of committing or preparing it. Or there wasn’t a terrorist attack, but intelligence agencies have reasonable suspicions that someone is preparing one. Or calls on the Internet for committing terrorist attacks.

As it became clear in the court session, Benjamin Stimson wasn’t involved in anything like this. Here are the words of the judge to the defendant, quoted by the British media:

“You ultimately did no physical harm to anyone…There is no evidence at all that you at any stage used any violence upon anyone. There is no evidence that you actually engaged in combat.On the contrary there is evidence that your presentation as a fighting man was in large part an exaggeration on your own part or even the product of fantasy.

It is clear to me that your intention of going there was not to fight but to escape your life in the United Kingdom, perhaps to find adventure and to possibly carry out humanitarian work”.

As a result the court waived article 5 (1) (a) from Stimson’s charges. For what will he spend the next five years behind bars? Again, here is a quote from the judge: “You assisted the militia by your presence and your involvement, and you will have given a lead to others”. Benjamin Stimson is condemned under article 5 (1) (b) of the Law on the fight against terrorism for the fact that “he helped others, having become a member of a militarized group resisting against the lawful government of Ukraine and serving as a soldier of this group”.

In other words: Stimson was given a rather strong sentence only for the fact that he joined the ranks of the militia of Donbass. Just for this, nothing else!

But from here it logically follows that the British court, in passing its decision, recognized that the DPR/LPR are terrorist organizations. Already the fact of joining it is a crime. Somewhat exaggerating, one may say that the sentence given to Stimson equates the Republics of Donbass to organizations like ISIS.

The court of Manchester gave truly a royal gift to the Ukrainian authorities. Still, there was only one State in the world that considered the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics as terrorist formations. This State is Ukraine [it should be noted that no Ukrainian court ever passed a decision recognising the republics as “terrorist organisations” – ed]. Now Great Britain has joined her.

As a reminder, the European Union doesn’t recognize the DPR/LPR as terrorist organizations. In this respect there is the clear statement of the EU High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini: “The European Union hasn’t defined the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as terrorist organizations” (taken from Mogherini’s response to the inquiry of the European Parliament Deputy from Estonia Yana Toom).

Russophobic-minded politicians from Poland and the Baltics, lobbying the interests of Kiev, tried to impose on the leaders of the EU a resolution on the recognition of the Republics of Donbass as terrorist structures. However, the careful European administration didn’t dare to come so far. And it is clear why: if to recognize the DPR/LPR as terrorists, then Russia automatically turns into a helper-country of terrorism, and the standoff between the West and Russia would reach a new, most dangerous level.

Since Brexit, Britain doesn’t feel bound by the general political setup of the European Union any more. Perhaps, this influenced the judgment.

Unfortunately, through inexperience or by giving in to psychological pressure, Stimson admitted his guilt. He was jailed contrary to wisdom: “Sincere recognition facilitates soul, but extends the term”. Thereby he significantly facilitated the task of sentencing and lost an opportunity to submit an appeal challenging the fact of guilt.

Stimson certainly had a good chance to win the case, without admitting his guilt and in the presence of a sensible lawyer. The man didn’t make and didn’t prepare terrorist attacks, didn’t call for them, wasn’t in an organization that is officially recognized as a terrorist one by the British or international courts… On what grounds in general does the Law on Combating Terrorism apply to him??

And the general conclusion is such. In their already partly irrational desire to “pressurize” Russia, western countries gradually move away from legal decencies. How far are they ready to go? It wouldn’t be surprising if a “witch-hunt” in the spirit of senator McCarthy begins. On this occasion they will pursue not for communist views, but for sympathy for Russia.

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