Jakarta Governor Reported To Police For Muslim Holiday Donations Stampede

By webadmin on 03:51 pm Sep 24, 2009
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A number of non-government organizations advocating for the rights of low income people reported Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo to police over a stampede at City Hall on Monday that injured 12 as people scrambled for Idul Fitri food and money handouts.

The organizations, including the City’s Poor People Network (JKRM), Legal Aid For Women and Children (LBH Apik) and the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC), lodged the complaint with Jakarta Police on Thursday.

Edi Saidi, an activist from UPC, said that Fauzi was responsible for the stampede and accused him of being incapable of coordinating his staff during the event.

“It was a yearly event so the committee should have anticipated the possibility [of a stampede],” Eddy said.

The organizations reported the governor because they believed he violated Article 360 of the Criminal Code, which addresses carelessness that leads to the injury of other people. The violation carries a maximum five year prison term.

The governor was also accused of violating the regional 2007 Public Order Law, which states that “people or companies in Jakarta must not give or ask for donations.” The law carries a maximum punishment of six months imprisonment and a fine ranging from Rp 500,000 ($50) to Rp 30 million.

“It is strange ­— he signed the regional law and now he has broken it,” Eddy said.

Fauzi shrugged off the report.

“If they want to report me, it’s their right. Go ahead,” he told the Jakarta Globe.

However, police refused to file the report because representatives of the stampede victims could not show marks or scars from the incident. Without the physical evidence, the report could not be investigated, police said.

The organizations said they would not give up.

“We will try to persuade two other victims who are hospitalized at Tarakan Hospital to sue the governor,” Eddy said.