PNG PM's office denies reports of Wenda deportation

7:15 am on 26 March 2015

The office of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has dismissed reports that the West Papuan leader Benny Wenda has been deported after arriving in the country yesterday.

West Papuan independence activist Benny Wenda.

West Papuan independence activist Benny Wenda. Photo: Supplied

Mr Wenda had flown to PNG enroute to Vanuatu from the United Kingdom where he is based, however PNG Immigration authorities would not immediately clear him for entry.

A spokesman from the Prime Minister's office says Benny Wenda arrived without a visa which, as a person on an Immigration alert list, was necessary for him to enter PNG.

Despite various media reports that the leading West Papuan independence activist had been detained or deported, the spokesman says it is merely a procedural issue and that Mr Wenda is still in PNG.

The spokesman says that although he failed to lodge a necessary visa application, Mr Wenda is being treated respectfully by authorities and has been allowed to stay with his sponsors while Immigration works through the issue.

It's unclear whether Mr Wenda will still travel on to Vanuatu.