Indonesian recalls stinging tear gas in deadly soccer melee
Indonesia’s president has issued a “stunning apology” for the deaths in last year’s riot-prone Jakarta riot, following a series of questions about riot-related deaths at last week’s soccer World Cup in Brazil.
In a statement posted on his official Twitter account late on Wednesday, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he was sorry “for our tragic loss of lives and wounded” and for the “indiscriminate use of gas”.
After an outcry over the deaths, FIFA has said it will probe the allegations of torture and mistreatment and its investigation will be completed soon.
The deadly riots erupted last year in the Indonesian capital following a speech by conservative Islamic cleric and Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama who opposed plans by the government to raise the minimum wage from 600 ringgit ($140) to 1,200 ringgit per month.
Jakarta’s residents have been angered by the minimum wage, which is higher than that in the United States and some European countries, after the introduction of an increased minimum wage three years ago.
The rising minimum wage has seen wages rise in line with rising cost of living in recent years, but many families are still unable to afford basic necessities.
The protest erupted after Ahok said the increase would make the country financially unstable.
He said his government would also scrap legislation that would allow Indonesia to become a member of the International Monetary Fund and had to be voted through the country’s legislature.
Indonesia’s soccer fans have also claimed victory after they beat Nigeria in Friday’s final.
A crowd of around 40,000 people were gathered on the streets of Jakarta on Sunday to celebrate in the streets following Indonesia’s win in the World Cup.
Several thousand people were injured during the riots following the controversial speech of Ahok, who came under fire for his call for protesters to continue.
He announced he was ending protests, saying: “I’m very frustrated. The government is too corrupt. The people are too stupid.”
More than 500 people have been killed and