12 Mar 2013

Wenda hails Vanuatu people as Papuans' friends

2:03 pm on 12 March 2013

A British-based West Papuan activist, Benny Wenda, says the people of Vanuatu are his country's only beacon of hope in the Pacific.

Speaking in Port Vila, Mr Wenda said his people had no one else to speak out on their behalf against the atrocities perpetrated by the Indonesian military.

Mr Wenda, who is a former political prisoner, says he was tortured and jailed by Indonesian soldiers for two weeks until he escaped and fled his country.

He says this is his first trip internationally after his ban by the Indonesian government was lifted by international lawyers.

On his tour, Mr Wenda also visited New Zealand but failed to speak on the grounds of parliament after the speaker banned him on advice of the New Zealand government.