THE leader of a Far Eastern independence movement will be given the Freedom of Oxford at a meeting later this month.

Benny Wenda, who lives in Marston, will be given the honour at Oxford Town Hall on July 17.

He leads the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, a territory on the island of New Guinea currently occupied by Indonesia.

The campaign has been led by Mr Wenda since he fled his home country in 2002.

In being given the award, he will join luminaries including Colin Dexter, Nelson Mandela, Sir Roger Bannister and Lord Nuffield.

Councillors agreed to give the award to Mr Wenda last October. It was proposed by the current Lord Mayor and Green Party member, Craig Simmons.

Mr Simmons secured cross party support for his motion and he said Mr Wenda has made an impact across the world.

The only person to have been stripped of the award is the current leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The council took the award away from the Oxford University graduate and former Park Town resident after worries about human rights abuses in her country. That was taken back in November 2017.

Mr Wenda will be given the Freedom award at a special city council meeting from 5pm on July 17.