Benny Wenda

Benny Wenda is an indigenous West Papuan leader and the President of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). Benny became a prominent leader during the 1999-2001 'Papuan Spring', a huge pro-independence outpouring. For his pro-independence activities, Benny was arrested and put on trial. Facing 15 years in prison, he survived several assassination attempts, before escaping and fleeing first into the Papuan jungle and then to the UK, where he founded the Free West Papua Campaign in 2005. In 2014, Benny was intrinsic to unifying the West Papuan movement under the ULMWP, described by Papua expert Jason MacLeod as 'the most significant event in the history of Papuan resistance'.