The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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 …

Trump gives ‘thumbs up’ in photo with PH police chief who used to head deadly drug war

Philippines’ police chief Ronald Dela Rosa and Donald Trump.
United States President Donald Trump was warned not to do the signature fist pump pose of President Rodrigo Duterte by human rights advocates, before going to Manila for this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

Critics warned Trump prior to the trip that the gesture has come to represent the brutalities of Duterte’s drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives.

Despite the warning, Trump seems to be hitting it off with Duterte quite well, telling reporters yesterday that the two have a “great relationship.”

So we’re not sure if he didn’t know — or didn’t care — that taking a picture giving a thumbs up to the cameras next to the Philippines’ police chief Ronald Dela Rosa practically sends almost the same message as Duterte’s fist pump.

Dela Rosa posted the meeting on his Facebook page this morning, although he did not specify when the meeting actually took place.

Dela Rosa became police chief when Duterte assumed the presidency last year and is known as the “architect” of the war on drugs.

According to Dela Rosa’s account, after he was introduced to Trump by the secret service agent, all Trump could say was “ooohh.”

Dela Rosa added, “and the rest of his statement is classified.”

Dela Rosa called the drug war project “Double Barrel.” His campaign against drugs has faced a mountain of abuse allegations since its implementation. It’s called “double barrel” because of the focus on both “high-level” drug targets (manufacturers, drug lords) and “low-level” street peddlers through “Oplan Tokhang.”

“Tokhang” is a blending of the Visayan words “toktok” (knock) and “hangyo” (plead), in which drug users and pushers are theoretically asked to surrender to local police, have their names listed, and are instructed not to do drugs or sell them again.

According to human rights investigators, many of the names on this list ended up becoming targets of vigilantes, or killed for “fighting back” in police-sanctioned anti-drug operations. Their estimates peg the number of drug war deaths at over 13,000, while the government attributes less than 6,300 deaths — including those killed in police operations and by masked vigilantes — to drugs.

This is why Duterte ordered the drug war suspended through a memorandum issued last month, which removed police from anti-drug operations and left the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the sole agency responsible for combating illegal drugs.

Source: Coconuts Manila, November 14, 2017

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