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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 …

Council of Europe warns Turkey over death penalty restoration plans

The Council of Europe warned Turkey against re-establishing the death penalty on Oct. 30.

"Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership of the Council of Europe," the 47-member organization, which includes Turkey, tweeted a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would ask parliament to consider reintroduction.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz added to the Council's warning, denouncing Turkey for considering a move that would "slam the door shut to the European Union."

"The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment, which has to be abolished worldwide and stands in clear contradiction to European values," Kurz told the Austrian Press Agency.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland had in August warned Ankara about reinstating capital punishment, noting that the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has ratified, clearly excluded it.

The Convention, signed in 1983, excludes capital punishment except in time of war or imminent threat of war and a 2002 protocol ended the time-of-war proviso.

Capital punishment soon if parliament approves it, Erdogan tells crowd in Ankara


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his decision to approve the installment of capital punishment if the parliament approves a related code while responding to chantings from the crowd at the opening of a main train station for high-speed trains in the capital city of Ankara on Oct. 29.

"Soon, soon, don't worry," Erdogan said, in response to a group in the crowd chanting "We want death penalty."

"It is soon inshallah," he said.

"Our government will bring this [issue] to the parliament and I believe that it will pass the parliament. I will approve it when it comes to me."

"If sovereignty rests with the nation, the issue is over," he said.

"It doesn't count what the West says but my nation," the president said.

Capital punishment has not been implemented in Turkey since 1984 and it was abolished officially in 2004.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, October 30, 2016

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