Jakarta: A police crackdown on petty crime in the run-up to the Asian Games in Indonesia has claimed dozens of lives, Amnesty International said Friday while criticising the ‘unnecessary and excessive’ campaign.
The rights group said at least 31 suspects were killed under a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ operation in host city Jakarta and South Sumatra in the lead-up to the world’s second-biggest multi-sport event, which kicks off Saturday.
“These shocking figures reveal a clear pattern of unnecessary and excessive use of force,” said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty’s Indonesia office. The hosting of an international sporting event must not come at the price of abandoning human rights.”
Nationwide, Amnesty said police shot and killed some 77 suspects since January, up 64 per cent from the same time last year, but they were not all directly linked to the Games.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also criticised the government’s policy. “The Asian Games are intended to celebrate human achievement, not provide a pretext for a police ‘shoot to kill’ policy in the name of crime control,” HRW’s deputy Asia director Phelim Kine said recently.
Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last month, authorities however, said they had shot over 50 suspects here who ‘resisted arrest’ during a pre-Games crackdown, with some 15 of them dying of their wounds.
- Minimum 31 suspects killed to facilitate a ‘Clean Games’
- Police have said that last month they shot 50 suspects who resisted arrest with 15 of them dying of wounds