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United Kingdom

Papua activist put on Interpol 'red list'

The UK citizen dismisses alert as political intimidation by Indonesia

Mike MacLachlan, London

Mike MacLachlan, London

Updated: November 25, 2011 10:58 AM GMT
Papua activist put on Interpol 'red list'

A West Papuan independence activist living in exile in Britain has been warned that he faces arrest and extradition to Indonesia, it was disclosed today. Interpol has put Benny Wenda, who has lived in the university city of Oxford for nine years, on a list of wanted people called a “red list.” Wenda, 37, was granted asylum by Britain in 2002 after escaping from custody in Indonesia while under arrest for allegedly inciting an attack on a police station. He is chairman of the Koteka tribal assembly and founder of the Free West Papua Campaign and International Lawyers for West Papua. Married with six children, he is now a British citizen. The rights group Fair Trials International supports his claim that the charges against him have been trumped up on political grounds and says the “red list” system has become “a legal black hole.” Wenda told The Guardian newspaper he had been to a conference in Senegal and on his return to Britain “looked on line and found … a red notice. “This is Indonesia intimidating me. They are trying to limit my movement,” he said. Billy Wibisono, third secretary at the Indonesian Embassy in London, told BBC radio’s Today programme Wenda was wanted for serious crimes in Indonesia.

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