Indonesian police firing tear gas was the main trigger for a deadly soccer stampede at a stadium in East Java last month, the country’s human rights commission found in a report on the incident released on Wednesday.
Officials from the human rights commission (Komnas HAM) said 135 people had died in the stampede, mostly from asphyxiation, after the match at Kanjuruhan stadium on October 1.
Hundreds were also hurt in aftermath of home team Arema FC’s loss to bitter rivals Persebaya Surabaya at the overcrowded stadium.
Indonesian authorities and the Indonesian football Association (PSSI) have faced questions and criticism in recent weeks over why police fired tear gas inside the stadium, a crowd control measure banned by world soccer governing body Fifa.
Fifa states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police at matches.
Komnas HAM echoed similar conclusions made last month by a government fact-finding team, which found multiple factors like the excessive use of tear gas, locked doors, an overcapacity stadium and failure to properly implement safety procedures exacerbated the deadly crush.
Komnas HAM commissioners specified seven violations of human rights in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters, including the excessive use of force and violation of children’s rights.