12 Initial Findings of the Civil Society Coalition Fact-Finding Team Regarding the Human Rights Violation Incident at Kanjuruhan Stadium

The recent violent incident at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang Regency, has left many dead or injured. In light of this incident, the Civil Society Coalition Fact-Finding Team, consisting of LBH Pos Malang, LBH Surabaya, YLBHI, Lokataru, IM 57+ Institute, and the Commission for Disappeared Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) have conducted an active investigation for approximately 7 (seven) days.

Today, the nation is in a state of mourning, and amidst it all, citizens continue to voice their demand for truth and justice — insisting on a full investigation of this case — as seen in the banners installed in various corners of the city of Malang Raya.

During the investigation process, we met with several witnesses — victims and their families — the former being in varying states, such as concussed, sporting bruises or red rashes on their faces and bodies, and severely traumatized due to the violence that had occurred.

Based on the investigation conducted by the Civil Society Coalition Fact-Finding Team, an initial finding suggests that the violent incident at the Kanjuruhan Stadium was an allegedly systematic crime and did not solely involve at-the-scene actors. In addition, we suspect that the death toll was consequential to the exertion of tear gas by the authorities. The initial findings are as follows:

1. In the middle of the second half of the game, several personnels carrying tear gas were mobilized, even though no threat or potential security disturbance was in sight at the time;

2. When the match between Arema FC and Persebaya ended, it is known that several spectators came down to the soccer field — based on testimonies provided by witnesses — to provide motivational support for the soccer players. However, the security forces mistook this gesture and overreacted, resulting in acts of violence. Witnessing this, more spectators also took to the field, not to carry out attacks but to help the spectators receiving violent treatment from the security forces;

3. Before the tear gas shooting, there was no attempt by the authorities to use any other intervention method, such as an intervention that has a deterrent effect, verbal orders, sound warnings, or civilized physical intervention, despite the existence of a National Police Regulation (Perkap) Number 1 of 2009 concerning the Use of Force, which states that Police officers must take several preemptive measures before resorting to shooting tear gas;

4. The acts of violence experienced by the spectators were not only perpetrated by members of the National Police but also by the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) in various forms, such as dragging, hitting, and kicking;

5. Based on testimonies provided by the spectators, tear gas was fired not only at the field but also at the Southern, Eastern, and Northern sides of the stands, causing a mass panic among the spectators in the stands;

6. When they headed to exit through the narrow evacuation gates, crowd buildups occurred at several locked gates. The very limited space to move, exacerbated by the excessive shooting of tear gas by the authorities, had a massively fatal impact; the victims had difficulty breathing, resulting in fatalities;

7. After a series of violent incidents, spectators who made it out had to jostle against each other. Due to the lack of immediate help from the authorities, the victims had to navigate their way out on their own;

8. Not only did many suffer and become subjects of violence inside the stadium, but more violent interventions occurred outside. It is known that the police also fired tear gas at spectators outside of the stadium. We have strong reasons to suspect that the conditions following the tear gas shooting at the stands were the moment many spectators died. At that time, there was no medical support equipped to respond to the critical conditions of the spectators exposed to tear gas fumes.

9. After the incident, we discovered that certain parties had performed acts of intimidation, either through communication devices or direct actions. We suspect that the reason behind this was to deter witnesses and victims from providing testimonies;

10. To this day, no public information has been provided by the government concerning the official data of fatalities and injured persons, including information on the progress of the ongoing case on the subject matter currently handled by the police;

11. We are currently investigating the facts; communication with The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and Indonesia Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) has been established, and we have submitted several reports. However, we have yet to see real actions carried out by the Joint Independent Fact-Finding Team in meeting several witnesses and victims;

12. The circulating narrative regarding the finding of alcoholic beverages and the use of the term riot is misleading. The use of the term riot is deemed erroneous in this case, given what happened was a systematic attack or killings of civilians. We also think that the information regarding the presence of alcoholic beverages is partial to misconstruing the focus of the process of shedding light on this case; it was impossible to bring alcoholic beverages into the stadium because a very strict search was performed by both the organizing committee and the police upon entrance to the stadium.

Based on the initial findings above, we assess that deliberate and systematic acts of violence were carried out by the security forces, involving not only at-the-scene actors — who have now been identified as suspects by the police — but also those in higher positions of authority, both of whom should be held accountable with further legal proceedings.

Jakarta – Malang, 9th of October 2022

Civil Society Fact-Finding Coalition Team
(LBH Surabaya, LBH Surabaya Pos Malang, YLBHI, KontraS, Lokataru, IM 57+ Institute)

Contact Persons:
LBH Pos Malang (08563495689)
LBH Surabaya (083856242782)
Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (087785553228)
Lokataru (081932223729)