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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 …

Maldivian and international human rights groups urge Maldives President to halt execution plans

Maldives
Leading Maldivian and international human rights organizations are calling on the President of the Maldives to halt plans to break a 60 year moratorium on executions.

A group of organizations – Reprieve, Amnesty International, the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, FORUM-ASIA, Maldivian Democracy Network, Transparency Maldives and Uthema – have sent a joint letter to the President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, asking him to “change course and halt these planned executions.”

President Yameen has repeatedly spoken of his desire to carry out executions, despite the country’s Parliament having rejected a proposal to reinstate the death penalty in 2013. This week, the President suggested that executions would begin in September. There are concerns for three men who have had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court.

In their letter to the President, the group of organizations said: “There is mounting evidence that those in line for execution – Hussein Humaam Ahmed, Ahmed Murrath and Mohammed Nabeel – have not received fair trials.”

The letter adds: “You have claimed that the introduction of executions after 60 years is necessary to end violent crime. But all the evidence shows that that the death penalty does not have a unique deterrent effect.[...] The death penalty will do nothing to make the Maldives safer.”

The intervention follows the recent raising of similar concerns by experts, including Professor Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University; and investors in the Maldives, such as Sir Richard Branson.

Commenting, Deputy Director of Reprieve Harriet McCulloch said: “President Yameen’s executions plan will do nothing to make the Maldives safer. With reports of forced ‘confessions’ and concerns about unfair trials, it’s clear there could be a grave miscarriage of justice if executions go ahead. Breaking a moratorium that has held for half a century will deal a terrible blow to the rule of law in the country. President Yameen must urgently listen to the growing calls from inside and outside the Maldives, and drop these ill-advised proposals.”

Source: Reprieve, August 10, 2017

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