Jakarta, Aug 17 (IANS) Police in the Indonesian capital 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”.
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, reports the Guardian.
The rights group said police shot dead 77 petty criminals across the whole of Indonesia during the same period, a 64 per cent increase from 2017.
Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid argued the surge in killings revealed a “veil of impunity” that taints the Indonesian security apparatus.
“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,” he said.
About 12,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 18th Asian Games, the largest multi-sporting event outside the Olympics, which will conclude on September 2.
Indonesia is deploying 100,000 security personnel to maintain law and order.
In the past two years, several Indonesian officials have lauded the killing of criminal suspects and offered praise for President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent drug war in the Philippines, the Guardian reported.
In July 2017, the national police chief suggested the Philippine example showed that capital punishment was an effective way to deal with drug dealers.