03 December, 2011
Freedom campaigner flies the flag
|Benny Wenda of the Free West Papua Campaign flies his country’s flag (banned in his homeland by the Indonesian Government) with Lord Mayor Elise Benjamin. The flag was due to be flown over the Town Hall|
Published news: http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/
Freedom campaigner Benny Wenda raised the West Papua flag with Lord Mayor of Oxford Elise Benjamin to call for independence.
The Oxford resident called for West Papua to break away from Indonesia, on the 50th annual West Papua Independence Day.
Mr Wenda joined supporters in London on Thursday to call for the arrest of the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesian ambassador in London, Yuri Thamrin.
He brandished a “red notice” warrant for their arrest – reflecting a real Interpol red notice out for his own arrest.
The Marston Road resident denies attacking a police station in Indonesian Papua, also known as West Papua, on December 7, 2000.
He told the Oxford Mail: “We handed over the letter to the embassy regarding the arrest of the Indonesian president and the ambassador.
“The day went really well, it was really, really good with lots of supporters – 35 people.
After handing over the letter the group joined a demo by the London Mining Network, an alliance of human rights, development and environmental groups.
Mr Wenda added: “There is a really big focus on West Papua at the moment.
“From West Papua we heard that people were celebrating.
“But in one place where they raised the Morning Star flag we were told four people were arrested and are now being questioned.”
The dad-of-six claims the red notice shows he is being targeted by the Indonesian authorities because of his political campaigning for the freedom of West Papua, including rallies in Oxford.
A Home Office spokesman said it was not the department’s policy to confirm or deny receipt of extradition requests.
Mr Wenda has successfully claimed political asylum in the UK, making it difficult for the British Government to force him to return to Indonesia.