Title: Families Gather for Vigil on Anniversary of Kanjuruhan Stadium Tragedy
Malang, Indonesia – Families and survivors of the devastating Kanjuruhan Stadium tragedy came together on the anniversary of the incident to honor the memory of the victims. The candlelit vigil, held at the stadium, sought to remember the 135 lives lost and over 400 injured in the tragic event.
The tragedy unfolded during a local football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya when tear gas was fired into the stands. Shockingly, even young children as young as three years old were among the victims. This incident not only left deep scars on the survivors and families, but it also tainted the reputation of human rights and football in Indonesia.
Despite their overwhelming grief and emotions, many families bravely attended the vigil, while others were unable to bear the pain and chose not to enter the stadium. The prayer service commenced at noon and continued late into the night, with portions of the stadium set ablaze as a symbolic gesture representing the injustice endured by the victims.
The misuse of tear gas inside the stadium has been an issue of concern, as FIFA strictly prohibits its use during matches. Amnesty International’s Indonesia office has emphasized the need for enhanced transparency, accountability, and measures to protect civil society from police misuse of tear gas.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, two civilians and several police officers were sentenced to prison for negligence. However, many believe that justice has not been adequately served, and they demand further accountability for those who lost their lives that fateful day.
The incident has ignited a broader discussion surrounding excessive force employed by security forces and a lack of respect for human rights principles within the country. The families of the victims continue to mourn their loved ones and advocate for justice.
As the sun set on the vigil, the families left the stadium with heavy hearts. Their grief serves as a reminder of the significance of tragedies like the Kanjuruhan Stadium disaster, urging authorities and society to prioritize human rights and safety above all else in the future.