Press Release – Benny Wenda in Papua New Guinea
MARCH 25, 2015
Free West Papua Campaign Press Release 25th March 2015
Attention All Global Media – Benny Wenda in Papua New Guinea
Benny Wenda a West Papua independence leader and Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua arrived in Papua New Guinea yesterday and was unexpectedly detained by PNG immigration authorities.
Today Mr Wenda is still being detained by immigration authorities and is now being threatened with deportation.
This is despite a direct order from the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
to allow Mr Wenda to enter PNG.
It appears that Indonesian influence on the PNG immigration authorities is very strong today because the head of the immigration service at the PM airport is refusing to take calls from the PNG Prime Minster and is saying that he is intending to deport Mr. Wenda.
Earlier today Mr Wenda explained to media that he is coming to PNG to thank the Prime Minister for his recent statements of concern for the Melanesian people of West Papua and to brief the PNG Foreign Minister on the latest developments. Mr Wenda said that “the United Liberation Movement for West Papua is seeking to apply for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and I will brief PNG on the progress of the application and on the situation in West Papua generally.”
Mr Wenda said “I have come back to this homeland of our ancestors to thank the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea for showing strong support to stop the suffering of our people in West Papua and I have also come to seek support from my fellow Melanesians to help West Papua. Our campaign for freedom for West Papua is a lawful, peaceful and democratic movement that has stood up in the face of Indonesian genocide of Melanesian people in West Papua. One day we will live in peace and freedom as an independent nation and we will be good neighbours with Indonesia”.
Mr Wenda stated, ”as a Melanesian it is perfectly normal for me to travel to other Melanesian countries to discuss the situation with all my Melanesian Brothers and Sisters. We are all one Melanesian people together.” Mr Wenda said “only last week Indonesian soldiers killed Papuan activists in West Papua who were campaigning and collecting money for Cyclone relief in Vanuatu”. “This was a big mistake by Indonesia”.
Mr. Wenda continued, it was quite disgusting, the Indonesian soldiers even stole the money the Papuans had collected for Vanuatu disaster relief along with other funds.
Now Indonesia is exerting undue influence on PNG immigration authorities but I know that PNG is a sovereign country and will not allow this”.
Mr Wenda then said: “I really need the support of my Melanesian brothers and sisters. Please tell everyone about this situation, and support the Prime Minister in his decision to allow me entry into Papua New Guinea and in supporting an end to the suffering of our West Papuan people. I am sure that my fellow Melanesian family will always support our people, our wantoks in West Papua. Thank you very much”
Benny Wenda is available now for media interviews and can be contacted directly on this number: +44 7411 053 953
PNG Immigration: +675 323 1500