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Moroccan POW released by Russia thanks Türkiye, Saudi Arabia

A Moroccan prisoner of war released as part of an exchange between Moscow and Kiev has thanked the Turkish government, Saudi Arabia and the Moroccan people who he said stood in solidarity with him and several other prisoners.

Brahim Saadoun returned home to a working class district of Casablanca on Saturday after being freed on Wednesday.

He was one of 10 foreign prisoners of war — including five British and two American citizens — transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of the exchange of 200 prisoners between Moscow and Kiev, mediated by Türkiye.

“I’m happy to come home after going through very difficult times,” said the 21-year-old aeronautical engineering student who had been based in Ukraine since 2019.

Brahim “has suffered from the imprisonment but he will recover and get back to his studies,” said his father, Taher Saadoun.

Smiling and appearing in good health alongside his mother at his family home, Saadoun said: “I want to draw attention to the difficult situation in Ukraine and the struggle of its people in this painful time.”

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Erdogan: Russia, Ukraine swap 200 POWs under Türkiye’s mediation

Sentenced to death

Brahim Saadoun was sentenced to death alongside two British men by the unrecognised Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in early June.

After his trial, the Moroccan government said that Saadoun had been “captured while wearing the uniform of the military of the state of Ukraine, as a member of a Ukrainian naval unit”.

It said he had been “imprisoned by an entity that is recognised by neither the United Nations nor Morocco”.

Rabat has adopted a position of neutrality in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Morocco is keen not to alienate Moscow, a UN Security Council member, on the issue of the disputed status of Western Sahara, a vast stretch of mineral-rich desert which Rabat considers part of its own territory.

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POWs from US, other countries transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia

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