The name Benny Wenda has become synonymous with the movement for West Papuan independence. Since his dramatic escape from an Indonesian prison in 2002, where he was held in isolation and tortured as a political prisoner, Benny has been an unceasing crusader on the international scene, campaigning to bring about an end to the suffering of his people at the hands Indonesia’s brutal colonial regime.
Granted political asylum in the UK, Wenda’s freedom of movement was restricted in 2011 when, at the behest of the Indonesian government, Interpol issued a ‘red notice’ putting him at extreme risk of extradition should he travel. The following year the ‘red notice’ was lifted after being deemed “predominantly political in nature”.
Wenda then embarked on a world-wide “Freedom Tour” to build support and awareness for the West Papuan Independence Movement. To date Benny has performed and spoken in such diverse places as New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Poland, the United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the United States of America, and many others.