A West Papuan political activist who was granted asylum in Britain is celebrating the removal of an Interpol red notice against him.
Benny Wenda: Oxford man will get a fair trial on terror charges - Indonesian official Benny Wenda: says he is 'delighted' at Interpol's removal of the red notice Photo: GETTY
Oxford-based Benny Wenda, 37, leads a political movement for the independence of his native West Papua, an Indonesian province on the island of New Guinea.
The red notice, which meant he could be arrested and possibly extradited from any one of Interpol's nearly 200 member states, was issued at the request of Indonesia last year.
The country wants Mr Wenda to stand trial for a number of crimes he is alleged to have committed in West Papua, including arson and murder, but which he has long insisted are trumped-up charges intended to silence him.
Jago Russell, of the campaign group Fair Trials International, announced yesterday that Interpol had agreed that Indonesia’s case against Mr Wenda was “predominantly political in nature”.
“Interpol should be used to fight serious crime but Indonesia has been misusing it to threaten a peaceful political activist,” he said. “We are delighted that Interpol has now woken up to this abuse, but Benny’s case is not unique and safeguards are needed to stop other countries misusing Interpol and destroying lives and reputations in the process.”