Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, today (26 July) issued the following statement on the death penalty in Japan:
Today another six members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult have been executed in Japan. The group was convicted of carrying out the poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 which cost many lives and left thousands injured. I made a statement at the beginning of the month, when the first seven death sentences were carried out, and I reaffirm again today that the Federal Government and the European Union reject the death penalty under all circumstances and advocate its abolition worldwide. It is an inhuman and cruel form of punishment and I therefore call upon Japan, our close partner, to review its existing practice and refrain from carrying out any further executions.