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.

AP

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL foot...
Associated Press

Brady: Season goals still within reach for struggling Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady only knows one way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can pull out of a season-long funk on offense and realize their potential. “Hope is not a strategy, so you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to earn it,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion said. “You’ve got to do […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Julianne Sitch 1st woman to coach men’s soccer to NCAA title

SALEM, Va. (AP) — Julianne Sitch became the first woman to coach a men’s soccer team to an NCAA championship, guiding the University of Chicago to the Division III title. Chicago defeated Williams College 2-0 on Saturday for the Maroons’ first NCAA men’s soccer title in program history. The title capped an undefeated season (22-0-1) […]
1 day ago
France's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup round of 16 s...
Associated Press

Olivier Giroud breaks Henry’s French record with 52nd goal

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Olivier Giroud broke Thierry Henry’s French record with his 52nd goal for the national team Sunday, giving the defending champions a 1-0 lead over Poland in the round of 16 at the World Cup. The 36-year-old Giroud had tied Henry’s record of 51 goals when he scored twice in a 4-1 […]
1 day ago
Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell talks over his headset during the first half of an NCAA ...
Associated Press

AP source: Liberty hiring Coastal Carolina coach Chadwell

Liberty is hiring Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell to replace Hugh Freeze as the Flames’ head coach. A person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday that a deal was done but spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement from Liberty was still in the works. Freeze left Liberty after […]
1 day ago
France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris kicks the ball during warm up ahead of the World Cup round of 16 so...
Associated Press

Lloris matches France record by starting World Cup match

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris matched France’s national team record of 142 appearances by starting a round-of-16 match against Poland at the World Cup on Sunday. The 35-year-old Lloris is now tied with Lilian Thuram, the right back in France’s 1998 world champion team. Lloris lifted the trophy as captain for Les Bleus […]
1 day ago
Japan players jubilate at the end of the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan and Spain, at...
Associated Press

Japan summons samurai spirit against Croatia at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Japan defender Yuto Nakatomo has told his teammates they’ll need to show “samurai spirit” in Monday’s round-of-16 match against Croatia at the World Cup. And they’ll need another quality that Nakatomo learned playing for almost a decade in Italy, mostly with Inter Milan. “Coraggio,” Nakatomo said. “We need to play with […]
1 day ago
Thousands rally for justice after Indonesian stadium tragedy