Legal Aid laments systemic silencing amid deadly soccer investigation

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and 17 legal aid offices across the country argued that there is a systematic attempt to silence and cover up human rights violations from the investigation of the Kanjuruhan Stadium tragedy, which claimed the lives of 131 football fans who were present at the stadium.

Hundreds of fans were crushed in a massive stampede that ensued after security personnel fired multiple tear gas canisters into the crowd in an attempt to disperse the fans who were invading the field. Many met their fate when they panicked and fled from their seats, and were subjected to police tear gas.

Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Advocacy Division Chief Zainal Arifin said that YLBHI, LBH Pos Malang and LBH Surabaya recorded several incidents that led to systematic intimidation through illegal arrests and investigations allegedly carried out. by the security forces.

The accusation is based on complaints and media monitoring. The incident was experienced by Aremania – a term used to refer to the fans of Arema FC that played against Persebaya Surabaya on that fateful night – and residents of the place who saw or were in the place or at least in the surroundings of the place.

“We see this as an attempt to silence the efforts of the witness to explain the truth of the human tragedy that claimed hundreds of lives,” Zainal Arifin said in a written statement on October 6.

YLBHI said that the first assumption was that there were shopkeepers who were afraid when they met journalists from a TV station. Because previously there were merchants who were detained by the security forces for giving information to journalists.

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The second suspicion is that there was an illegal arrest and examination of witness “K” after he uploaded a video within seconds of the incident, which was eventually found by the victim’s family at the Malang police.

Thirdly, there is a banner that says “Investigating KANJURUHAN Tragedy OCTOBER 1, 2022” that unknown people have installed almost all over Jalan Raya Malang. Fourth, the appearance of narratives blaming the victim (victim blaming), saying that sympathizers do not accept defeat and drink alcohol.

“In fact, Aremania who came out on the pitch just wanted to meet the players to encourage them. And before the game, all the security is tight, so it is impossible to bring liquor into the stadium as narrated,” Zainal said.


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