West Papua activist says PNG is threatening him with arrest


Benny Wenda claims he was greeted with warning letter after arriving in Port Moresby to raise morning star banner.

Benny Wenda


The West Papuan activist Benny Wenda has said immigration officers in Papua New Guinea threatened to have him arrested along with an Australian lawyer for «engaging in political activities» and breaching their visa conditions.

Wenda and Jennifer Robinson plan to take part in an event in Port Moresby on Sunday to mark the West Papuan national day of 1 December. The event will culminate in a raising of the Indonesian province’s banned morning star flag at the Port Moresby city hall.

Wenda, who lives in exile in the United Kingdom, told Guardian Australia: «The immigration and police are outside the hotel and they want to arrest me in a few hours’ time. I’m sure that the Indonesians gave the order to do it.»

He still expected the demonstration on Sunday to go ahead as planned. «Even if they arrest me and put me in jail, my people and all our Papua New Guinean friends are ready to still [raise the morning star flag].»

An organiser for the event, who asked not be named, told Guardian Australia: «Immigration officers and police came to the hotel where we are staying and they issued Benny with a letter. It’s a bit of a siege here actually.»

The letter was issued by the PNG immigration authorities and warned Wenda that taking part in political activities was a breach of his visitor’s entry visa.

The organiser said: «It won’t stop the action going ahead. Benny is ready to get arrested and people are ready to protect him.»

The threat came as a surprise to Robinson and Wenda who have said they are in PNG at the invitation of the Port Moresby governor, Powes Parkop.



West Papua activist says PNG is threatening him with arrest.

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