Police in Jakarta have killed dozens of people as part of an escalating crackdown against petty criminals ahead of the Asian Games, in a campaign Amnesty International has described as “unnecessary and excessive”.
Amnesty International said that based on monitoring from January to August this year, Amnesty International said 31 police killings were directly linked to the Games, which open in Jakarta and Palembang on Saturday.
The rights group said police shot dead 77 petty criminals across the whole of Indonesia during the same period, a 64% increase from 2017.
Amnesty said “These shocking figures reveal a clear pattern of unnecessary and excessive use of force by the police, and a constant veil of impunity that taints public security institutions. The hosting of an international sporting event must not come at the price of abandoning human rights. The killings must stop and all deaths must be promptly and effectively investigated.”
The killings peaked from 3-12 July, when 11 people in greater Jakarta and 3 people in South Sumatra were shot dead by the police as part of a ‘public safety’ operation to prepare the two cities for hosting the Games. In Jakarta, in addition to those killed, a further 41 people were shot in the legs, while more than 700 of 5,000 people arrested were charged with a criminal offence.