October 11, 2022
JAKARTA – The National Police disclosed on Monday that some of the tear gas canisters fired in the lead-up to the Kanjuruhan Stadium stampede in Malang, East Java, had expired.
National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the police internal investigation team found that certain canisters fired into the stadium’s playing field and stands – and blamed for the ensuing deadly stampede – had 2021 expiry dates.
“Yes, we found some tear gas canisters that had expired in 2021, some cans. I don’t have the number, but the police laboratory unit is looking into this,” Dedi said, as quoted by Kompas.com on Monday.
Dedi also said expired tear gas was less potent.
But some activists are concerned about the possible long-term effects of expired gas.
An investigation conducted by human rights non-governmental organizations including the Lokataru Foundation, the Commission for Victims of Violence and Missing Persons (Kontras) and the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) found also that some tear gas used to disperse the crowd at Kanjuruhan Stadium had expired and that it could potentially harm its targets in the long run.
Haris Azhar of the Lokataru Foundation said police also fired an excessive amount of tear gas during the incident.
“The fact that the tear gas was expired and was being shot in that amount in a very short time without medical help – we can never know its effects,” Haris said.
Anecdotal evidence from those exposed to tear gas suggest that it may cause reproductive health problems for people with uteruses, including missed periods and even miscarriages, Salon magazine has reported.