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WEST PAPUA: Detained campaigner Benny Wenda 'had no visa', says PNG


West Papuan campaigner Benny Wenda with a booklet about exploitation at the Freeport mine. Image: PNGLoop

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Item: 9181

Freddy Mou
PORT MORESBY (PNG Loop/Pacific Media Watch): A final clearance from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will determine if exiled West Papuan human rights leader Benny Wenda gets deported today.

The coordinator of Free West Papua PNG Chapter Freddy Mambraso told PNG Loop that Wenda was still awaiting clearance from the PM who was in Madang.

He said attempts had been made to the head of  Immigration but he had been told to wait for the PM’s advice.

Wenda was reportedly in Immigration custody and awaiting clearance.

He has been denied access into the country and was reportedly locked up by Immigration officers at the Jackson's International Airport in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon.

It was revealed that Wenda was in the country by invitation from National Capital District Commission (NCDC) Governor Powes Parkop.

Wenda, a roving ambassador of the West Papuan people, had flown from the United Kingdom arriving yesterday and had planned to stop briefly in Papua New Guinea before heading to a major meeting in Vanuatu of Melanesian leaders.

Wenda was released yesterday afternoon and will be deported today if the PM gives the order for deportation.

However, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he had no idea about the situation as he was attending to some events at Ramu in the Madang Province.

Reports denied
Radio New Zealand International reported tonight that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's office had dismissed reports that Wenda had been deported after arriving in the country yesterday.

A spokesman from the Prime Minister's office said Benny Wenda had arrived without a visa which, as a person on an Immigration alert list, was necessary for him to enter PNG.

Benny Wenda 'held' in PNG - RNZI report

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