Thousands rally for justice after Indonesian stadium tragedy

Nov 9, 2022, 10:19 AM | Updated: Nov 10, 2022, 1:25 am

Protesters use smoke bomb as they stage an act depicting the victims of Oct. 1 soccer stampede, dur...

Protesters use smoke bomb as they stage an act depicting the victims of Oct. 1 soccer stampede, during a rally commemorating 40 days since the tragedy, in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. Thousands of people rallied Thursday demanding justice and a thorough investigation into those they blame for the stampede at Kanjuruhan soccer stadium that left a number of people dead after police fired tear gas at a domestic league soccer match and caused a deadly crush as spectators attempted to flee. (AP Photo/Rizki Dwi Putra)

(AP Photo/Rizki Dwi Putra)

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Thousands of people in Indonesia rallied Thursday demanding justice and a thorough investigation into those they blame for the stampede at Kanjuruhan soccer stadium that left 135 people dead last month.

Supporters of Arema FC started the rally with the prayer at the in East Java’s Malang city as they commemorated 40 days since the tragedy that occurred after police fired tear gas at a domestic league soccer match and caused a deadly crush as spectators attempted to flee.

Protestors from regions outside of the Malang area joined the rally. Organizers have described the events leading up to the deaths of the football spectators as human rights violations.

“Do arrest and judge all actors behind and the executors on the field from the Kanjuruhan tragedy on October 1,” the Arema fans, known as “Aremania,” said in a written statement Thursday. “Make the Kanjuruhan tragedy a serious human rights violation and not just a minor human rights violation.

“Pay for all losses suffered by the victim and the victim’s family through compensation and restitution mechanisms.”

The protestors planned to visit several landmarks in Malang, including the Gajayana soccer stadium, Malang city square and Malang City Hall.

Malang Mayor Sutiaji, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, met the participants and thanked them for the peaceful rally. Government officials in Malang are wearing black for two days to mark 40 days since one of the world’s deadliest sporting disasters.

An investigation team, set up by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in response to a national outcry over the deaths, last month concluded that the tear gas was the main cause.

It said police on duty had no knowledge that the use of tear gas is prohibited at soccer stadiums and used it “indiscriminately” on the pitch, in the stands and outside the stadium, causing more than 42,000 spectators inside the 36,000-seat stadium to rush to the exits, several of which were locked.

The fact-finding team, which included government officials, soccer and security experts and activists, also concluded that the national soccer association, known as PSSI, had been negligent and had ignored safety and security regulations, and urged its chairman and executive committee to quit.

Police officers fired tear gas when fans flooded the pitch after Arema FC was defeated in a home match for the first time in 23 years by rival Persebaya Surabaya.

The match was attended only by Arema fans, as organizers had banned Persebaya supporters because of Indonesia’s history of violent soccer rivalries.

National Police have removed the police chiefs of East Java province and Malang district and suspended nine other officers over violations of professional ethics.

Authorities have said they are bringing criminal charges against six people for negligence, including the head of the league’s administration, PT Liga Indonesia Baru, two Arema FC officials and three police officers who allowed or ordered officers to use tear gas. They have been arrested by the East Java police and could face up to five years in jail.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met President Widodo and pledged to help improve stadium safety.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - The U.S. Capitol is seen on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress ...

Associated Press

Government shutdown averted with little time to spare as Biden signs funding before midnight

The threat of a federal government shutdown suddenly lifted late Saturday as President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding bill to keep agencies open with little time to spare after Congress rushed to approve the bipartisan deal.

2 hours ago

tupac shakur...

Rio Yamat and Ken Ritter

Man tied to suspected shooter in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 killing arrested

Tupac Shakur was gunned down when he was 25. He was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight.

2 days ago

Former NFL football player Michael Oher, whose story became the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated...

Associated Press

Judge to end conservatorship between ex-NFL player Michael Oher, Tenn. couple

A Tennessee judge said Friday she is ending a conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple who took him in when he was in high school.

2 days ago

BRAZIL - 2023/09/26: In this photo illustration, the Microsoft Bing logo is displayed on a laptop s...

Associated Press

Apple leverages idea of switching to Bing to pry more money out of Google, Microsoft exec says

Apple was never serious about replacing Google with Microsoft’s Bing as the default search engine in Macs and iPhones, but kept the possibility open as a "bargaining chip'' to extract bigger payments from Google

2 days ago

climate change...

Associated Press

2 lawsuits blame utility for eastern Washington fire that killed man and burned hundreds of homes

Two lawsuits have been filed against an electric utility for allegedly sparking a fire in eastern Washington that killed a man and burned approximately 240 homes.

3 days ago

Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Thousands rally for justice after Indonesian stadium tragedy