7 Aug 2012

Papuan activist now free to take independence campaign around the world

6:47 pm on 7 August 2012

A leading West Papuan pro-independence activist says his removal from an international wanted persons list will make it easier for him to educate the world about the plight of his people.

Indonesia has said it wants Benny Wenda to stand trial on charges of murder and arson and succeeded last year in having Interpol issue him with a red notice, putting him at risk of arrest and extradition from Britain.

But in response to work by the charity Fair Trials International, Interpol has decided that the case against the activist, whom Britain granted asylum nine years ago, is political.

Mr Wenda says the people of the Indonesian province have asked him to lobby the international community.

"The government and MPs and mobilise MPS and also we have coming up in October the biggest conference coming up in here. So I will invite all the parliamentarians around the world to talk about West Papua self determination issues as well as the human rights situation."

Beny Wenda says since the Interpol decision came out he has had contratulatory messages from MPs and people all over the world.