13 Sep 2019

Benny Wenda denies West Papuan activists behind riots

From , 3:02 pm on 13 September 2019

The West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda denies he and other activists are behind violent riots in the region.

Indonesian police on Monday arrested Buchtar Tabuni, a member of the executive committee of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

Authorities blame Mr Tabuni and other leading West Papuan activists for widespread protests, which Papuans say were sparked by racist abuse against them.

The Liberation Movement's leader, Mr Wenda, has also been named a criminal suspect and told Mackenzie Smith Mr Tabuni's arrest was a shock.

The West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda.

The West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana