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

The balance is likely to continue to rise. On Saturday, a stampede during the match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya resulted in the death of 125 people, including 32 children. The massive movement also left more than 300 injured, some of whom are between life and death in hospitals in the city of Malang, in the east of the island of Java. “According to the latest data we have, of 125 people who have died, 32 are children, the youngest of whom is two or three years old.Nahar, an official at the Ministry of Protection of Women and Children, told AFP. In the face of public anger, the first sanctions fell on Monday with the dismissal of Malang city police chief Ferli Hidayat and the suspension nine police officers, according to national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo.

Security Minister Mahfud MD had earlier asked the Indonesian police to “To identify“The People Who”perpetrated the crimes“, and take strong action.”If it hadn’t been for the tear gas, there might not have been chaos.Choirul Anam, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, said during a briefing. Saturday night’s drama at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang took place when fans of the local team Arema FC entered the field after the defeat of his team (3 to 2) against Persebaya Surabaya, the neighboring city.

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Police responded by firing volleys of tear gas into the crowded stands of the stadium, with 42,000 spectators present, authorities said. Onlookers then ran en masse to the narrow gates where many were trampled and suffocated, witnesses said. The police, two of whose officers died in the tragedy, described the incident as a “riot”. But the survivors accuse him of having overreacted and caused the death of more than a hundred spectators. “Some must be held accountable. Who should be sentenced?said Andika, who declined to give her last name.We demand justice for our missing supportersasked the 25-year-old football fan from Malang.

“A Big Cemetery”

A witness claimed that the police refused to intervene at the time of the fatal movement of the crowd. “The place looked like a big graveyard. Women and children piled on top of each other“, Eko Prianto, 39, explained to AFP.”I ran to the police and soldiers for help. There was no savior in sight. The police did not help and a soldier threatened to beat me.“.

Families reunite after the tragedy in Malang.

Credit: Getty Images

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said investigators were analyzing CCTV footage to identify “suspects who carried out the destructionThey also questioned 28 police officers, in particular about the use of tear gas canisters. On television, the president of the Malang football club, Gilang Widya Pramana, made a tearful apology on Monday. His team visited the scene of the attack. drama on Monday, its members donned black T-shirts to pay their respects to the victims and lay flowers, before gathering in the field to pray.

An independent investigation requested

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

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

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Credit: Getty Images

feeling of anger

Criticism of the authorities has skyrocketed, online and from witnesses. “Fans died in the arms of the playersJavier Roca, the Chilean coach of the Arema club from Indonesia, 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 resulted in deadly clashes. For Saturday’s match, Persebaya Surabaya fans were unable to buy tickets for fear of incidents.

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