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The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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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 …

Bangladesh: Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh leader Asadul hanged for killing 2 Jhalakathi judges

Khulna district jail
Khulna district jail, where the execution was carried out.
Asadul Islam alias Arif, a leader of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) who was convicted of killing 2 Jhalakati judges in 2005, was hanged tonight at Khulna district jail.

"The sentence was executed at 10:30pm on Sunday," a Khulna stringer reports quoting Jail Superintendent Kamrul Islam.

The body will be handed over to Asadul's family tonight, the jail superintendent said.

Khulna Deputy Commissioner Nazmul Ahsan, DIG Prisons (Jessore) Tipu Sultan, Magistrate Md Nur-e-Alam Siddique, Civil Surgeon Dr Md Abdur Razzak and Jail Superintendent Kamrul Islam were present during the execution.

Earlier in the day, family members including his wife, 2 daughters and 6 sisters met the death row convicted criminal in jail, where Asadul has been kept since 2008.

Senior assistant judges -- Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed -- were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14, 2005.

The incident followed the series bomb blasts across country in 2005.

The Appellate Division had upheld death penalty of 7 JMB leaders including JMB chief Abdur Rahman, his 2nd-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Asadul and 4 other militants in the sensational Jhalakathi judges' killing case.

Death sentence of the militants except Asadul were executed on March 29, 2007.

Asadul, who was absconding and later arrested on July 10 in 2007, filed the petition with the SC this year seeking review of its judgement.

On August 28 this year, the Supreme Court cleared the way for executing the JMB leader for killing 2 judges of Jhalakati in 2005.

A 5-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by SK Sinha dismissed a petition filed by Asadul seeking review of its earlier judgement that upheld his death penalty.at Khulna district jail.

Source: The Daily Star, October 16, 2016

Bangladesh accelerates trials as Islamist leader hanged


Bangladesh said Monday it is fast-tracking trials of Islamist extremists, hours after a senior leader of a militant group was hanged for a 2005 blast that killed 2 judges.

Asadul Islam, also known as Arif, was a senior leader of the banned group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which the government has blamed for a deadly siege on an upmarket Dhaka cafe on July 1.

Bangladeshi security forces launched a crackdown against Islamist extremists following the cafe attack, which shook the image of Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim nation.

Since July, police have shot dead nearly 40 suspected extremists including JMB's new leader Tamim Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen of Bangladeshi descent who allegedly masterminded the cafe carnage.

Bangladesh's courts have also accelerated the prosecution of Islamist extremists, sparking concern among rights activists who say such actions may be politically motivated.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told AFP the government was "trying to fast-track all the militant-related cases", including bomb attacks on a court complex outside Dhaka, a cultural function in a northern town and a new year's festival in the capital.

Police spokesman A.K.M Shahidur Rahman said there were "at least 64" Islamist extremists on death row and their appeals were being heard in the higher courts.

But Human Rights Watch said there was no conclusive evidence the death penalty acted as a deterrent.

"When terror attacks happen, governments often feel under pressure to show that they are doing something," South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly told AFP.

"What is needed instead is careful investigation to identify and prosecute perpetrators with proper evidence."

JMB was founded in the late 1990s and seeks to impose sharia law on Bangladesh, a Muslim majority but officially secular nation of 160 million people.

It shot to prominence when it carried out a coordinated bombing attack in August 2005, that involved more than 400 small blasts across the country.

Arif's body was buried amid tight security in his home town shortly after his execution, local police chief Pankaj Chandra Roy told AFP.

Source: Hindustan Times, October 16, 2016

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