Russian Supreme Court to review Aum Shinrikyo ban

Many Asian ideologies and cults have a following in Russia.

Many Asian ideologies and cults have a following in Russia.

Vadim Zhukov, Sergei Miklyayev/TASS
The court will check the legitimacy of the ban on the Japanese cult.

Russia's Supreme Court is going to check the legitimacy of a ban on international organization Aum Shinrikyo in Russia, the court’s press service told TASS on Oct. 27.

“An appeal against the decision on recognizing Aum Shinrikyo as a terrorist organization and banning its activities in the territory of the Russian Federation will be discussed on Oct. 27,” the source said.

On Sept. 20, the Supreme Court approved the petition of the General Prosecutor's Office to ban the organization in Russia, but the decision was disputed.

Aum Shinrikyo was founded by Japanese national Shoko Asahara in 1987 and made global headlines in 1995 when its followers sprayed sarin, a lethal nerve gas on five trains of Tokyo metro. The terrorist act claimed the lives of thirteen people. In September 1999, the Japanese Public Security Investigation Agency said Asahara had confessed to organizing the terrorist act with the use of sarin. A court found him guilty in 2004 of thirteen out of the seventeen charges and sentenced him to death.

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case this April over setting up of the group, the activity of which involved violence against people and infliction of damage to their health. The investigators said unidentified persons had set up a union of followers of the Aum Shinrikyo group in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Between 2012 and 2014, the group raised money via Internet to carry out its illegal activity that involved “violence against citizens and injury to their health,” the investigators said.


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