Amnesty International takes back its highest honor from Aung San Suu Kyi | News | DW | 12.11.2018
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Amnesty International takes back its highest honor from Aung San Suu Kyi

London-based global human rights organization Amnesty International has stripped Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its Ambassador of Conscience Award. The cause is her apparent indifference to atrocities.

Amnesty International stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honor on Monday over the de facto Myanmar leader's "indifference" to the atrocities committed by the country's military against Rohingya Muslims.

The London-based human rights organization said it was revoking the Ambassador of Conscience Award it gave Suu Kyi in 2009 while she was still under house arrest.

"Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defense of human rights," Amnesty International chief Kumi Naidoo said in a letter to Suu Kyi which was released by the global group.

"Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you."

The group said it had informed Suu Kyi of the decision on Sunday. She has not issued a public response so far.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to power in 2015 in a landslide victory that ended decades of military rule in the southeast Asian country.

Silence on Rohingyas

Her tenure has been marred by a failure to speak up for Rohingya Muslims who were driven out of the country by the army in what the United Nations has called an ethnic cleansing campaign.

Rohingya muslims fleeing Myanmar (picture-alliance/abaca)

Myanmar has been accused of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya muslims

Along with the award from Amnesty International, Suu Kyi has also lost numerous smaller awards from individual universities and local and regional governments.

Last month, the 73-year-old was stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship over her failure to speak up for the Rohingyas.

Read more: Rohingya people in Myanmar: What you need to know

Suu Kyi was hailed globally as a freedom fighter who stood up to her country's feared military dictatorship while spending 15 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

More than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the Buddhist majority's western Rakhine state in a military crackdown beginning in August of last year.

Many are believed to have been either murdered or tortured and raped.

av/jm (AFP, Reuters)

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