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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 …

Saudi Arabia carries out first execution of 2017

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH -- Saudi Arabia carried out its first death sentence of the year on Tuesday, following more than 150 executions in 2016.

Mamdouh Al Anzi was sentenced to death following his conviction for shooting dead another Saudi in a dispute, the interior ministry said.

He was executed in Arar, a city near Iraq.

Beheading with a sword is the most common form of execution in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia executed 153 locals and foreigners last year under its Islamic legal code, down slightly from the previous year when it carried out at least 158 executions, according to Amnesty International.

Rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia carried out at least 158 death sentences in 2015, coming 3rd after Iran and Pakistan. 

Amnesty's figures do not include secretive China. 

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom but the government says the death penalty is a deterrent.

Source: Agence France-Presse, January 17, 2017

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