Indonesia human rights body blames use of tear gas for soccer stampede

File photo of police officers and soldiers standing amid tear gas smoke after clashes between fans during a soccer match at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Indonesia on Oct 1, 2022. - AP

JAKARTA (Reuters): Indonesian police firing tear gas was the main trigger for a deadly soccer stampede at a stadium in East Java last month, the country's human rights commission found in a report on the incident released on Wednesday (Nov 2).

Officials from the human rights commission (Komnas HAM) said 135 people had died in the stampede, mostly from asphyxiation, after the match at Kanjuruhan stadium on Oct 1.

Indonesian authorities and the Indonesian football Association (PSSI) have faced questions and criticism in recent weeks over why police fired tear gas inside the stadium, a crowd control measure banned by world soccer governing body FIFA.

Komnas HAM echoed similar conclusions made last month by a government fact-finding team, which found multiple factors like the excessive use of tear gas, locked doors, an overcapacity stadium and failure to properly implement safety procedures exacerbated the deadly crush.

Komnas HAM commissioners specified seven violations human rights in one of the world's worst stadium disasters, including the excessive use of force and violation of children's rights.

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Indonesia , Malang , stampede , tear gas


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