The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Indonesia denies clemency to smugglers

Australia needs to send a clear, consistent message to Indonesia opposing the death penalty after its president rejected a series of clemency pleas by five foreign drug smugglers, a lawyer for one of the Bali Nine says.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono refused the appeals by the five - from Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Brazil - in a further blow for six Australians on death row for the same crime.

Indonesian authorities are now pushing ahead with the execution of the five, newspaper Pos Kota reported.

Darwin barrister Colin McDonald QC, who visited 21-year-old Bali Nine death row drug mule Scott Rush in prison on the weekend, said the failed clemency bids heightened the need for Australia to send a clear message opposing the death penalty.

The six Australians plan to appeal to Yudhoyono for clemency if their final legal appeals fail.

"It really is essential that Australia speaks consistently in relation to the death penalty, and we express our opposition forcefully," McDonald told AAP.

Source: AAP

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