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Support groups for disabled condemn Sagamihara massacre

Organizations supporting people with disabilities and their families condemned the massacre at a care facility for the intellectually disabled in the Kanagawa Prefecture city of Sagamihara where 19 people were killed allegedly by a former worker on July 26.

A group comprised of people with intellectual disabilities and their family members, called Zenkoku Te o Tsunagu Ikuseikai Rengokai, released a comment on its website on the night of July 26, condemning the crime that it was "planned to attack people with intellectual disabilities who would not be able to defend themselves during a time when there were few staff." The group called the act "atrocious and brutal" and said, "This is utterly unforgivable." It also addressed people across the country and asked them to take this opportunity to "think of the weight of the life of each person with disabilities."

The nonprofit organization Japan National Assembly of Disabled Peoples' International also released a statement on July 27 over the incident. It touched on some reports that Satoshi Uematsu, the suspect under arrest on suspicion of murder, was quoted as saying that "people with disabilities have no reason to live," and said, "If this was true, the crime was nothing but an act committed based on the ideology of eugenics." The organization added that it is determined to enhance its activities to advocate the protection of lives and dignity of people with disabilities and allow them to exercise their rights.

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