FOOTBALL – “We demand justice for our missing supporters”, 32 children among the dead in the tragedy in Indonesia

The budget is set to continue growing. On Saturday, a stampede during the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya killed 125 people, including 32 children. The crowd movement also resulted in more than 300 injuries, some of them life-and-death in hospitals in the city of Malang, in the eastern part of the island of Java. “According to the latest data we have, out of 125 people who have died, 32 are children, the youngest of whom is two or three years old.“Nahar, an official of the Ministry of Women and Child Protection, told AFP. In the face of public anger, the first sanctions fell on Monday with the sacking of the chief of police of the city of Malang, Ferli Hidayat. , and the suspension of nine police officers, according to National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo.

Security Minister Mahfud MD had previously called on Indonesian police to “identify“People who”perpetrated the crimes“, and to repress.”If it weren’t for the tear gas, there wouldn’t have been chaos“Choirul Anam, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, said during a briefing. The drama on Saturday night at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang occurred as supporters of the local team of Arema FC entered the field after the defeat. of their team (3 to 2) against that of Persebaya Surabaya, the neighboring town.

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Police responded by firing bursts of tear gas into the crowded stands of the stadium, filled with 42,000 spectators in attendance, authorities said. Onlookers then rushed en masse to narrow doors where many were trampled and suffocated, witnesses said. Police, two of whose officers were killed in the tragedy, described the incident as a “revolt”. But the survivors accuse him of overreacting and causing the deaths of more than a hundred spectators. “Some have to be responsible. Who should be convicted?“said Andika, who refused to give her surname.”We demand justice for our missing supporters“Asked 25-year-old soccer fan Malang.

“A great cemetery”

A witness assured that the police refused to intervene at the time of the movement of the fatal crowd. “The place looked like a large cemetery. Women and children stacked on top of each other“Eko Prianto, 39, told AFP.”I rushed to the police and soldiers for help. There was no rescuer in sight. The police did not help and a soldier threatened to beat me“.

Families reunite after the Malang tragedy.

Credit: Getty Images

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said investigators are analyzing CCTV footage to identify “suspects who carried out the destruction“They also questioned 28 police officers, particularly about the use of tear gas. On television, the president of the Malang football team, Gilang Widya Pramana, gave his tearful apology on Monday. His team visited the site. On Mondays, its members dressed in black T-shirts to pay homage to the victims and lay flowers, before gathering in the field for prayer.

Independent investigation required

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on Sunday the opening of an investigation. On Monday he promised the payment of compensation to the families of the victims of 50 million rupees (3,200 dollars). But several human rights groups have called for an independent investigation and for police to explain the use of tear gas in a confined space. “These loss of life cannot go unanswered“Amnesty International said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch has called on the International Football Federation (FIFA) to conduct its own investigations and make them public. FIFA president Gianni Infantino defined the tragedy “tragedy beyond imaginationMinister Mahfud MD said the members of the commission of inquiry will be chosen from among government members, analysts, football officials, media and academics. “The authorities will announce the results of the investigation as soon as possible”, clarified, considering that “the mission could end in the next two or three weeks“.

Gianni Infantino

Credit: Getty Images

Feeling angry

Criticism of the authorities has exploded, online and from witnesses. “The fans died in the arms of the players“Javier Roca, the Chilean coach of Indonesian club Arema, told Spanish radio Cadena Ser on Sunday, saying that”the police went too far“.

Fan violence has been a long-standing problem in Indonesia, where club rivalries have often led to deadly clashes. For Saturday’s match, Persebaya Surabaya fans were not allowed to purchase tickets for fear of accidents.

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