Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | 03:41 WIB

West Papua pro-independence leader urges OPM to free Susi Air pilot

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Jakarta, IO – Benny Wenda, leader of pro-independence group and chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) urged Free Papua Organization (OPM) to release Susi Air pilot Phillip Mehrtens, still held hostage after being captured two weeks ago, reported CNN Indonesia, Thursday (23/2).

Benny told Radio New Zealand that he did not condone the hostage-taking of the Kiwi pilot and demanded OPM to release him safely and peacefully.

Benny also expressed his sympathy for the pilot’s family and all Kiwis for the incident. According to him, the incident took place because Indonesia refused to allow the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights visit Papua.

President Joko Widodo in 2018 personally invited the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Papua but it is still unclear when that will happen.

Read: TNI-Polri joint team believes they know the location of New Zealand hostage pilot

“What is happening now is a warning to Indonesia to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit (Papua), which they have ignored for years,” said Benny.

Benny also gave his assurance that West Papua is not hostile toward New Zealand. In fact, according to him, the country is a strong supporter of West Papua. Nevertheless, Benny asked Indonesia to consider OPM’s demands. (un)

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