Shoko Asahara was the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo or Aum Supreme Truth cult that was responsible for releasing sarin gas on five Tokyo subway trains during the rush hour in 1995, killing 13 people and poisoning more than 6,000 others. Japanese media reports say on Friday, July 6, 2018, Asahara, who has been on death row for masterminding the 1995 deadly Tokyo subway gassing and other crimes, has been executed.
Recounting how the doomsday cult attracted educated youths, Tadashi Moriyama, a Takushoku University professor, said he feels that "it was not fully revealed at the trial or among researchers why many highly educated people or those with high social status were involved in the crimes".
Twelve other members of Aum Shinrikyo were sentenced to death for their roles in the Tokyo attack.
Japan's justice minister, who approved the hangings Tuesday, said she doesn't take executions lightly but felt they were justified in this case because of the unprecedentedly seriousness of the crimes.
"I've been in pain for years". The authorities said six other cult members were hanged.
Amnesty International lamented the executions, saying that these failed to deliver justice and is "the ultimate denial of human rights".
Elsewhere in Japan, staff at detention facilities that housed the six hanged AUM members also exercised caution. This is based on Shoko Asahara fusing and altering aspects of Buddhism, Christianity and the Book of Revelations - and other ideas - to kindle a cult that supported the death of innocents.
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This photo from 1995 shows subway passengers affected by sarin nerve gas being carried into a hospital.
He was also convicted of the murders of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, who had been helping parents seeking to free their children of the cult's control, and his wife and their 1-year-old son in November 1989.
Fire fighters in protective suits approach Kasumigaseki subway station following a sarin gas attack by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Tokyo on March 20, 1995.
Half-blind, with a shaggy hair and beard, Asahara was the key figure in the stunningly random and lethal attack targeting Tokyo commuters.
Aum Shinrikyo killed a total of 27 people at its height. As trials of cult members began taking place, numerous crimes were confessed to by members, including the production of VX nerve gas, attempts to manufacture automatic weapons, kidnapping, chemical attacks, and the murder of people deemed to threaten the cult. But it gradually became a paranoid doomsday cult, convinced the world was about to end in a global war and that only they would survive, according to BBC News.
The cult claimed to have 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in Russian Federation but has disbanded.
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