Saturday, May 16, 2015

1) Benny Wenda 'is a peaceful man seeking human rights for his people'

2) Human Rights Activist Barred From Entering U.S. Days Before Speaking Engagement in Long Beach


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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/papuanewguinea/10062857/Benny-Wenda-is-a-peaceful-man-seeking-human-rights-for-his-people.html

1) Benny Wenda 'is a peaceful man seeking human rights for his people'

Human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson says Indonesia calling on the UK to shut down West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda's Oxford office shows their "lack of understanding of human rights".


Ms Robinson has been acting for West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda since his time as a political prisoner.
Wenda, 37, is at the forefront of a long and bitter battle over the sovereignty of West Papua, the former Dutch colony on the island of New Guinea which passed into Indonesian control in the 1960s.
"It was through him primarily and my experiencing first hand widespread human rights abuses, and working with victims of human rights abuse that I felt moved to do something about this. Since that I been involved with Benny making the case for West Papau's claim" she said.
Although a referendum on the takeover was held in 1969, the fact that it involved only around 1,000 hand-picked Papuan men (just one per cent of the native population), under the watchful eyes of the Indonesian military, means that many people regard it as little more than a sham, and the decades since have been marked by bloody conflict.
After being granted political asylum in Britain, Wenda decided to set up the campaign, Free West Papua, promoting the province’s independence and exposing human rights abuses taking place under Indonesian rule.

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http://lbpost.com/news/2000006102-human-rights-activist-allegedly-stopped-by-u-s-customs-days-before-speaking-engagement-in-long-beach

2) Human Rights Activist Barred From Entering U.S. Days Before Speaking Engagement in Long Beach 


Wenda was scheduled to speak at the Grace United Methodist Church on Third Street tomorrow to raise awareness about West Papua’s (Western New Guinea) fight for independence from Indonesia before he was detained in London.
According to a release issued Friday, Wenda was halted by U.S. Homeland Security while attempting to board a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Los Angeles on Wednesday after staff found an alert regarding Wenda on their passport system.
Wenda told officials “I am a Human Rights campaigner from West Papua, I am exiled and am campaigning for West Papua,” the release said. The FWPC said officials had not responded to FWPC’s inquiries as to why authorities prevented Wenda from flying.
The FWPC's Facebook page indicated that Wenda's speaking engagement scheduled for today in Los Angeles was held as scheduled, with Wenda making an appearance via Skype. 
A release sent last week detailed Wenda’s years as an advocate for West Papua independence, including years spent in hiding from the Indonesian military after the country attacked West Papua. He was imprisoned for his subsequent advocacy, imprisoned, tortured, and eventually exiled. After seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, Wenda settled in London, where he currently lives with his family.
According to Friday’s announcement, Wenda was issued a 10 year business visa in 2014 after being denied one from 2005 to 2013. He has visited congressional officials in Washington D.C., since being issued the visa, the FWPC said.

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