Police identify tree worker killed in Chesterfield

Japan doomsday cult leader executed 23 years after Tokyo sarin attack

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

In this picture taken on July 19, 1995, Shoko Asahara (C), head of the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, is transferred from Tokyo police headquarters to Tokyo District Court for questioning.

The leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which carried out the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, has been executed, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, had been in prison for 22 years before his execution this week. The attack left more than a dozen people dead and thousands injured.

Asahara’s death sentence was finalized in 2006, according to NHK, but trials of his co-conspirators dragged on for a further 12 years.

Twelve other members of Aum Shinrikyo were sentenced to death for their roles in the 1995 attack. It is unclear whether they were also executed this week.

Executions in Japan are carried out in secret, with no advance warning given to the prisoner, their family or legal representatives, according to Amnesty International. Prisoners often only learn out hours before that they are to be killed.

“These acts breach the right to life and the right to live free from torture,” Amnesty said in a recent report.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.