18 May 2015

West Papua leader hopes to learn why he was blocked from US

7:56 am on 18 May 2015

The West Papuan independence leader, Benny Wenda, says he's hoping to find out this week why he was he was refused access to the United States ahead of a speaker's tour.

Benny Wenda

Benny Wenda Photo: AFP

Mr Wenda says he was hoping to travel from London, where he lives in exile, to Los Angeles last week.

But when he checked in at Heathrow Airport, an alert came up on his passport, and he was taken in for questioning by an official from the US Homeland Security Department, who then revoked his 10-year business visa.

Mr Wenda says he was told to contact the US embassy about why his visa was revoked, but he is yet to hear back.

"We did try to send a request and send some information, some documents and they said we'll have to wait for five working days so I don't know what will happen."