Asian Games 2018

Trigger-happy Indonesia police kill 11 and shoot dozens more in crime fight ahead of Asian Games 2018

Spokesman says nearly 2,000 people have been arrested since the operation began July 2

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 3:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 3:49pm

Indonesian police have killed 11 suspected petty criminals and shot dozens more in a heavy-handed campaign to free the capital, Jakarta, of street crime before next month’s Asian Games.

Jakarta police spokesman Prabowo Argo Yuwono said on Tuesday that nearly 2,000 people have been arrested since the operation began on July 2. He said 52 were shot for resisting arrest and 11 of them died.

“Police won’t hesitate to take firm measures including shooting suspects if they resist arrest,” Yuwono said.

He said it was part of a two-month campaign against thieves, thugs and other street criminals to boost security for the Asian Games, which take place in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 3.

Human Rights Watch decried the shootings and said they would not solve Jakarta’s security problems.

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“Asian Games should not be a pretext to use excessive force,” said the group’s Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono.

“It’s better for the Jakarta government and police to collaborate closely to secure transportation infrastructure and traffic intersections, clearing sidewalks and doing more police work,” he said.

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Some 9,000 athletes and several thousand journalists and officials are expected for the games, which will take place three months after suicide bombings in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, that killed 26 people, including 13 attackers. Two families carried out the attacks, using children as young as seven.

In addition to the arrests, another 1,500 suspected criminals in Jakarta were ordered to take part in rehabilitation programs.