Six ex-members of the Aum Vérité Suprême sect, responsible for the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, were executed on Thursday morning. They add to the seven already hanged at the beginning of the month, according to Japanese media.
With the executions on Thursday morning, all 13 former members of the Aum sect sentenced to death several years ago were executed, including the guru Shoko Asahara (whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto), executed at the beginning of month.
Some 190 other members of the sect were also sentenced to various sentences.
On March 20, 1995, according to a very thoughtful process, several members of the occult organization Aum Supreme Truth, created by Shoko Asahara, spread sarin gas in subway trains converging on the administrative heart of the capital.
No one immediately understood what was happening at this early hour, during the peak period, as many passengers were leaving by suffocating various subway lines.
The first capital punishment for the 1995 bombing was pronounced in September 1999. In December 1999, the Aum sect, which welcomed up to 10,000 worshipers, officially recognized for the first time its responsibility for the bombing of the country. Tokyo subway.
The sentence against Shoko Asahara was confirmed in 2006.
The sarin attack killed 13 people and poisoned 6300 others. Aum is held responsible for the deaths of 29 people and 6500 wounded.
Three weeks ago, during the previous series of executions of faithful of this sect, the Minister of Justice said she took, “after careful consideration, the decision to sign the execution order” of these seven condemned, saying that “acts of such gravity, unprecedented in Japan, must never occur again”.
“It took 23 years since the attack for this sanction to be executed, unfortunately, the parents of my husband, killed in the attack, died before,” then lamented before the press Shizue Takahashi, the wife of a metro employee killed in the attack and president of a victims’ association.
Japanese law stipulates that those sentenced to death must be executed within six months of the confirmation of their sentence, but in practice they often remain for years in the antechamber of death.
Others, such as lawyer Masaki Kito, believe that the execution of the guru and his followers does not end an attack where many areas of darkness remain.
It is unfortunate that they were executed without speaking further.
Masaki Kito, lawyer
Some fear that the hanging of Asahara will make him a martyr. “There are fears that he is revered as a god, I think we must remain vigilant,” warns Minoru Kariya, son of Kiyoshi Kariya kidnapped and killed by the Aum sect in 1995.
“The attacks carried out by Aum were unjustifiable and those responsible deserve to be punished. However, the death penalty is never the answer, “said Hiroka Shoji, a researcher on East Asia in the Amnesty International Human Rights Organization.
The organization has always been concerned that Japan continues to practice the death penalty “by saying that executions are inevitable because the public demands it”. Surveys show that the public supports this type of punishment.
Dan Willson is the lead editor for Times Records. Dan has been working as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade having published stories in many print and digital publications including, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Huffington Post. Dan is based in Philadelphia and covers issues affecting his city and his country. When he’s not busy writing, Dan enjoys racing drones.