Jakarta, Oct 12 (EFE).- The National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia, responsible for investigating possible human rights violations by the state, said Wednesday there are indications of abuses by security forces in a tragedy in a soccer stadium in the country, which left more than 130 dead and hundreds injured.
According to what one of the commissioners of the entity, Choirul Anam, said at a press conference, the tear gas launched by police to contain thousands of fans who broke into the field was the “trigger” for the death of, so far, 132 people, in what is one of the worst catastrophes in world soccer.
“The trigger for the fall of many victims was the tear gas, especially those launched against the stands,” said Anam, adding that the commission’s final report would be released next week.
The stampede that occurred at the beginning of the month in a stadium during a soccer match has caused the death of at least 132 people and more than 460 wounded, after the fans invaded the field and collided with security forces. They launched tear gas to control the crowd, despite its use in stadiums being prohibited by FIFA rules.
The preliminary investigations of the commission showed that it was the use of such gas that spread “panic among the audience and led to the chaotic situation in the field,” whose images of terror circled the world.
“Some victims’ faces turned blue, some were foaming at the mouth, some not only had red eyes but had turned brown,” Anam said.
The initial conclusions of the commission also confirm the hypothesis of authorities that the stadium had exceeded its maximum capacity, since it had a capacity for 38,054 people but had 42,516 attendees on the night of the events.
They also ruled out the suspicion that the exit doors were closed at the time of the tragedy, although everything indicates they were only “partially” open, which led to crowds and terror among the public.
“It is at that moment that people cannot move because their eyes are irritated, they are short of breath, etc., which eventually causes many victims,” the commissioner said.
After the incident, Indonesian President Joko Widodo opened an investigation to find those responsible for the tragedy and evaluate the controversial actions of the police.
So far, a dozen officers have been suspended, including the police chief of Malang, the scene of the events, while another 20 are under scrutiny. EFE