Indonesian police officer jailed over stampede

Leagues

An Indonesian court on Thursday jailed a police officer but cleared two other officers of negligence over crowd control measures at a local football match that led to one of the world’s deadliest stadium stampedes.

The derby in Malang, East Java, between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya in October 2022 ended in chaos with 135 spectators killed, many crushed as they fled for exits after police fired tear gas into the crowd.

Last week, two Arema FC match officials were also jailed for negligence in the first court verdicts since the stampede took place.

One of the police officers, Hasdarmawan, was on Thursday sentenced to one and a half years in prison.

Authorities had earlier said Hasdarmawan had ordered police to fire tear gas, which football’s world governing body FIFA has banned as a crowd control measure.

Two other officers, Bambang Sidik Achmadi and Wahyu Setyo Pranoto were cleared of wrongdoing and freed by the judge. Their lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

An investigation by Indonesia’s human rights commission found the main cause of the stampede was police firing into the crowd 45 rounds of tear gas.

Investigators also said the stadium was filled beyond capacity.

Indonesia’s top league suspended matches for several months following the incident but most games have since resumed, with some fixtures played behind closed doors due to security concerns.

Indonesia is due to hold the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in May.

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