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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 …

Indonesia: Nusakambangan inmate masterminded import of 1.2 million ecstasy tablets

Nusakambangan penal island, Indonesia
Nusakambangan penal island, Indonesia
Indonesia says convict organised major drug trafficking ring

JAKARTA • A convict in a maximum security Indonesian prison masterminded an operation to import 1.2 million ecstasy tablets, which led to two arrests and the death of another suspect, the authorities said yesterday.

They told a press conference the arrested pair could face the death penalty if convicted of importing the drugs from the Netherlands.

The alleged mastermind - who is serving a 15-year sentence at the prison in Nusakambangan - would also be charged in the new case and could face the death penalty if convicted, said national police chief Tito Karnavian.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati warned that Indonesia has been targeted by major trafficking syndicates, which see it as a highly lucrative market.

Police, national narcotics agency staff and Customs agents raided a warehouse in Banten province outside Jakarta on July 21 after investigating a syndicate for two months.

Hundreds of thousands of ecstasy tablets were seized and police arrested a 39-year-old man, who told them the drugs had been shipped from the Netherlands. The man said the smuggling was organised by the convict.

On July 24, police arrested another suspect in Tangerang, just outside Jakarta, with 56 bags of ecstasy tablets, bringing the total number of tablets seized to more than 1.2 million. On July 27, a third man caught with 2kg of methamphetamine was shot dead when resisting arrest in West Jakarta, police said.

"For this case, the (two detainees) could face the death penalty," Mr Karnavian said, adding that the drugs had an estimated street value of more than US$45 million (S$61 million).

Last month, police shot dead a Taiwanese man caught with a tonne of crystal methamphetamine just outside Jakarta and arrested four other Taiwanese nationals.

Indonesia has some of the world's toughest anti-drug laws, including the capital punishment for traffickers. It has executed several foreign and Indonesian narcotics convicts by firing squad in the past few years.

Source: Agence France-Presse, August 2, 2017

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