PACE rapporteur reacts to executions in Japan

“The death penalty is never justice, however horrifying the original crime, it is simply wrong,” said Yves Cruchten (Luxembourg, SOC), the General Rapporteur on abolition of the death penalty for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), reacting to news of a series of executions in Japan.

Seven members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, which carried out a deadly chemical attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995, were executed in Tokyo last week.

“The way in which executions are carried out in Japan is particularly inhuman. No prior notice is given, and even family are only informed after the hanging has taken place,” Mr Cruchten added.

“Japan holds observer status with the Council of Europe. We are proud of our strong and principled stand against the death penalty here – nobody is executed in any of our 47 member States. I invite Japan to join us, and many other countries around the world, by putting an end to this cruel practice for good.”