To the gallows – in diapers. How Japan’s chief terrorist, who poisoned the subway with sarin, was executed Shoko Asahara, leader of the terrorist sect “Aum Shinrikyo”, was sentenced to death 20 years ago 27.02.2024, 08:25

Worst terrorist attack in Japan

Shoko Asahara was sentenced to death on February 27, 2004 for the terrorist attack she committed 9 years ago. In March 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo sect he led released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway, resulting in deaths. 14 random passengers (The number of deaths varies in different sources) and several thousand people suffered serious to mild health damage. Terrorist attacks in Japan were rare and always had a rational reason behind them: for example, in 1974 the far-left East Asian Armed Anti-Japanese Front blew up the headquarters of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for supplying weapons to the United States. In the Vietnam War.

The Aum Shinrikyo terrorist attack on civilians cannot be explained with sound logic because it was carried out by a classical totalitarian cult. Its ideology is the product of a synthesis of Buddhist doctrine, Chinese philosophy, Hinduism, European mysticism, and Western science fiction. Members of the sect also had to believe in the special abilities of guru Asahara, who promised to take on the sins of humanity. In addition, he convinced others that he had extrasensory perception, could levitate, and grant spiritual power.

Before the terrorist attack, Aum Shinrikyo was engaged in the usual sectarian activities: total surveillance of its members, extorting money from them, and killing those who wanted to leave the organization. When the police planned a raid to stop his crimes, Asahara ordered an attack on the subway out of desperation. He probably hoped that way start The apocalypse in which the sect believes or tries to seize power within the framework of delusional logic in the country where the organization is preparing.

The court sentenced 13 sect leaders to death penalty for these crimes. Japan is one of the few developed countries where such a penalty is imposed.

He wasn’t talking to anyone but he was sane

Even more surprising is that the execution was carried out there in the most archaic way: by hanging. In the 1870s, the traditional Japanese replacement of beheading with a sword began to be used. At the time, the country was going through a phase of accelerated modernization and Westernization, and an advisor to the French government suggested that it would be even more humane to hand over the entire body to relatives.

To sentence a criminal to death (usually for murder), the court must take into account nine criteria: the level of crime, the motive, the manner of the murder, the number of victims, the feelings of the victims’ relatives, the impact of the violence. The action in relation to Japanese society, the offender’s age, biography and degree of remorse. Since Asahara killed a dozen random people for no reason in a particularly brutal way and had no plan to repent, he clearly had little chance of avoiding execution. The court also found the Aum Shinrikyo leader guilty of other crimes, including the murder of a lawyer who was preparing a lawsuit against the sect.

Following the verdict, Asahara was sentenced to death in the Tokyo Detention Center. Detention conditions there are much stricter than in regular prison: convicts sit alone, physical exercise is allowed only twice a week, television is prohibited and the number of books is limited to three. It is possible to visit with a prisoner, albeit under the strict control of the guards, but Asahara did not use this option. He remained silent most of the time during and after the trial, or muttered gibberish in Japanese and English, and did not respond to guards’ comments that he had a visitor while awaiting execution. Based on this, the defense demanded that Asahara be declared insane and the execution annulled, but Japanese justice did not accept these claims, as it complied with the guards’ requests to wash and engage in physical exercise.

The former guru of the sect began to suffer from incontinence during the trial and therefore to wear diapers for adults. They took him to be executed among them.

Three death buttons

Unlike the United States, where execution dates are announced in advance and witnesses are invited, death sentences in Japan are carried out suddenly and unobserved. Asaharu after breakfast on the morning of July 6, 2018 in the name to the meeting room. There, a prison officer said that the execution was planned for today and suggested that the convict give a statement or get psychological help. The former sect leader did not react to this, and the guard then asked what he would do with his body after the sentence was carried out. The prisoner remained silent, but without his answer the execution could not be carried out. After several attempts, the guard managed to wake Asahara, who asked him to wait a moment and then simply said, “My fourth daughter,” indicating that he wanted her to be the recipient.

Shortly thereafter, the convict was taken to the execution chamber. It looks like a small, bright room in Japan with glass walls and a hatch in the floor. Asahara was placed on the hatch, handcuffed, a white bag was thrown over his head, and a noose was placed around his neck on the ceiling. The executed man’s knees were tied so that he could not hold his feet from the edges when the hatch cover was opened.

The sentence was carried out as usual by three prison officers, whose names were not disclosed. They simultaneously pressed three buttons in the next room to open the hatch. Only one of them is connected to the opening mechanism, but the executioners do not know which one should ease their conscience.

After the execution, the body was removed from the rope and burned, but the deceased’s will regarding the fate of the ashes could not be fulfilled. The remains became the subject of a lawsuit: the second daughter demanded that they be given to her, as the fourth daughter had no sympathy for the sect and would scatter the guru’s ashes at sea. According to the lawyers, Asahara was not himself before his death and therefore unreasonably chose the recipient of the ashes, ignoring his close relationship with his second daughter. But the government feared that, as a former member of the sect, he would turn them into objects of worship.

In this respect, the terror guru’s ashes still remain in 2022. it was in prison.

What are you thinking?

Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world and many people associate it with robotics and high technology. It is even more surprising that they still carry out the death penalty, and in the most “outdated” way – by hanging. The most famous execution in recent years was that of terrorist Shoko Asahara, who carried out a brutal sarin attack on the Tokyo subway. About how the execution of the main terrorist took place in a modern but conservative country – in the material of

Source: Gazeta


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