Amnesty International withdraws award from Myanmar's Suu Kyi

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2018

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has continued his criticism of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi today amid the Asean Summit 2018, accusing her of trying to "defend the indefensible" by downplaying the massacre of the Rohingya people.

"The prize was awarded for her humanity, her stand against human rights abuses. what we've seen since August a year ago has just been a shocking denial of what is happening in Rakhine state".

The group claims Suu Kyi has not used her political and moral authority to safeguard human rights, justice and equality in Myanmar.

The human rights organization announced Monday that its secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, informed Suu Kyi that it was revoking her 2009 Ambassador of Conscience Award.

The Ambassador of Conscience Award is the latest in a series of accolades to be withdrawn from Myanmar's de facto leader, who has been criticised for failing to intervene to stop a campaign of violence against the country's Rohingya Muslims. Past winners include Nelson Mandela, Mary Robinson and Peter Gabriel.

The politician and Nobel peace prize victor received the honour in 2009, when she was living under house arrest. At that time, the longtime opposition leader still under house arrest. She was only finally able to accept the award in 2013.

"[Her] denial of the gravity and scale of the atrocities [against the Rohingya] means there is little prospect of the situation improving", Mr Naidoo said. "Without acknowledgement of the horrific crimes against the community, it is hard to see how the government can take steps to protect them from future atrocities", Naidoo said.

Amnesty also accused Suu Kyi's administration of actively stirring up hostility against the Rohingya, labelling them as "terrorists", accusing them of burning their own homes and decrying "faking rape".

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Deputy Minister for Information Aung Hla Tun said he was personally sad and disappointed by Amnesty's announcement and said Suu Kyi was being treated "unfairly".

Due to the crackdown by Myanmar's military against the Muslim minority of Rohingya, the former freedom icon global is sharply criticized.

In a letter to Suu Kyi, Amnesty expressed its Secretary-General, Kumi Naidoo disappointed about the apparent indifference of the Nobel peace prize victor compared to the atrocities of the military against the Muslim minority. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh.

Once seen as an icon for democracy, she has been widely criticized for her government's handling of the Rohingya crisis, which the United Nations has called "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing".

Meanwhile state media has published inflammatory and dehumanising articles alluding to the Rohingya as "detestable human fleas" and "thorns" which must be pulled out.

Suu Kyi was stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship over her failure to speak up for the Rohingyas last month.

We are extremely saddened by the fact that we've had to take this decision.

Other reports by GizPress

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