Indonesian families sue over deadly Malang stadium disaster

Indonesian families sue over deadly Malang stadium disaster

JAKARTA: Seven Indonesian families whose relatives died or were injured in one of the worst stadium disasters in football history are suing officials they consider responsible, their lawyer said Friday (Dec 23).

The stampede in the Javan city of Malang in October left 135 people dead, including more than 40 children.

It has been primarily blamed on an excessive use of tear gas by police, according to a preliminary investigation.

The civil lawsuit targets eight parties, including Indonesia’s football association, the national police, league organiser PT Liga Indonesia Baru, and the owners of Malang football club Arema FC.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is also listed as a co-defendant.

Imam Hidayat, a lawyer representing the families, said they were demanding accountability and compensation.

“We have to consider the livelihood of the families of those who died or were heavily injured,” Hidayat told AFP.

“They, in our view, need compensation, although lives cannot be exchanged with money.”

The families are seeking around 62 billion rupiah (US$3.9 million) in damages, he said.