Jayapura, Jubi – Benny Wenda, spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua considers the statement of Ambassador (Ambassador) of the Republic of Indonesia to New Zealand (NZ), Tantowi Yahya as a statement showing Indonesia losing political arguments in the West Papua case more recently Discussed in the Pacific as well as other international forums.
“Indonesia lost its political arguments in NZ and the Pacific region. As Ambassador, Tantowi Yahya is losing legal argument to defend West Papua in the framework of NKRI. So Indonesia can only try to convince the people of NZ and Pacific by using the word fugitive. This old story is played again by Tantowi Yahya, “said Benny Wenda to Jubi, via telephone, Thursday (07/29/2017).
Benny Wenda continued, as if the Ambassador of Indonesia in NZ is just awakened from sleep so shocked to see the development in the Pacific, especially in NZ. He said the people of the Pacific and NZ already know the lies of Indonesia about Papua for a long time. Cases of human rights violations and impunity owned by TNI and Polri which are presumed to be the main actors of human rights violations in Papua are in the public spotlight of NZ.
“I was told by NZ lawmakers that one week before I arrived the Indonesian ambassador lobbied the Auckland University so I would not be allowed to speak at the university. But NZ embraces democracy and freedom of campus, so I can not stop talking about Papua Merdeka, about West Papuan independence struggle and human rights violations that happened, “explained Benny Wenda.
Regarding accusations of fugitives thrown by the Indonesian ambassador to him, Benny Wenda confirmed Interpol has removed itself from the Red Notice list since 2012.
“I remember well how the Indonesian government attempted to silence the West Papua liberation campaign by issuing a Red Notice on my behalf to Interpol in 2011. The notice was later ignored by Interpol because they considered it highly political. The fugitive word is politically charged to Indonesia. Unfounded argument. It’s been proven in international court, “said Benny Wenda.
The Indonesian side has attempted to include Benny Wenda’s name on the International Arrest Warrant Interpol list since 2000, after Billy Wibisono, the secretary of information and social affairs of the Indonesian Embassy in Britain accused Benny Wenda and several of his colleagues of involvement in attacking a police post in Abepura on 7 December 2000 Causing some people to die and damage at the police station.
In 2012, the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files sent a letter to Fair Trials International, which campaigned for Benny Wenda. The contents of the letter, among others, say that the case of Benny Wenda has been removed from the list of fugitives Interpol.
“After re-examining all the information available to it … the Commission finally judged that the case against your client is a matter of ordinary politics,” said a letter from the Interpol File Control Commission as reported by the BBC.
Benny Wenda during his visit to NZ last May took the time to speak in a “public event” on several NZ campuses. On each occasion, Benny Wenda conveyed the desire of the Papuan people to be independent and sovereign as their own country, apart from Indonesia. He also described cases of human rights violations that have occurred in Papua since the 1960s.
Benny Wenda’s activity led to the Indonesian Ambassador to NZ, expressing concern over the use of several campuses in NZ including Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) by Benny Wenda. Even while meeting with the Rector of Victoria University of Wellington, Prof. Grant Guilford, Ambassador of Indonesia is calling Benny Wenda as a fugitive who actually have no right to speak on behalf of the people of Papua. He also accused Benny Wenda of lying about Papua.
However, according to the NZ Education Act, the campus can not prohibit the freedom of the academic community of the university in expressing its opinion (academic freedom).
Benny Wenda not only lives 9,000 miles away from Indonesia and lives in exile in England, but he is also the leader of the peace-loving independence movement. As the Nobel Peace Prize nominee, he has always advocated a peaceful solution so that Papuans can calmly exercise their basic right to self-determination through a referendum on independence. (*)