PNG bond stronger than ever, says West Papuan leader

3:19 pm on 27 March 2015

A prominent West Papuan activist says his movement's relationship with Papua New Guinea is stronger than ever and his recent deportation from the capital Port Moresby was over visa issues.

Benny Wenda

Benny Wenda Photo: AFP

Benny Wenda, who is the spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, was detained by immigration officials when in Port Moresby on Tuesday when it emerged he did not have a required visa.

Mr Wenda had flown from Britain where he is based to transit to visit supporters around the Pacific region.

A spokesman from the office of PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said that as a person on an Immigration alert list, Benny Wenda needed a visa to enter PNG.

Mr Wenda confirms that there were technical issues leading to his detention and it had nothing to do with politics.

"The government of Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister himself, has already stated that West Papua is their family so based on that we strongly believe that the government level already supports West Papua. Also now the building of the grassroots level to support West Papua bringing into the Melanesian family but my deportation has nothing to do with this movement."

Benny Wenda.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs