Indonesian president calls football violence a crime against humanity

Indonesian recalls stinging tear gas in deadly soccer melee

Indonesia’s president on Monday called the bloody violence at a soccer game in Kota Tinggi on Friday a “crime” against humanity and said it is “a human tragedy.”

The violence between supporters of the Super League and the city’s football club, Kediri, left at least nine dead, including seven police officers.

President Joko Widodo on Monday called the attack “a crime against humanity,” saying Indonesia was a nation ruled by law.

“The government in its capacity as the highest authority has called on all parties to exercise restraint and to show respect for the human rights of all citizens,” Widodo said in a statement.

“So it is a crime against humanity and we call on everyone in such a situation, whoever they may be and where they may be, to exercise restraint and to show respect.”

Widodo called for public unity and expressed his “sincere solidarity” with the families of the victims.

But he said he was deeply grieved for the families of the police officers who died in the attack. President Widodo said he had ordered their immediate burial.

“In my view, the police officers who died in the attack were all public servants who were trying to fulfill their duty,” Widodo said.

“I deeply grieve, in particular, for the families and loved ones of the four police officers who died in the attack.

“I strongly urge all of those who saw or heard the incident to respect the sanctity of human life and to exercise restraint,” he added.

A day after the bloody Kediri soccer match, police confirmed that a policeman and a soccer fan died in the football melee.

“The two officers died in the Kediri Soccer Stadium,” the police chief in Jakarta, PSoetardjono, told reporters on Monday.

A government spokesman had earlier announced that the two were two football fans, but he later clarified that they were police officers.

The attack took place hours after the game was scheduled to be played, which led to an outpouring of anger as angry spectators flooded the streets of the Indonesian capital.

The Kota Tinggi sports complex is just a few metres from the presidential palace in the center of the city and the venue for a presidential event scheduled for Sunday.

The president and top presidential aides were to arrive there for the event

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