Amnesty International strips Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi of award
The human rights groups Amnesty International announced Monday it was rescinding its highest honor given a decade ago to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, citing her role in the government’s pressure campaign against hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim residents.
Ms. Suu Kyi, who was also given the Nobel Peace Prize for her opposition to Myanmar’s former military-dominated government and for reestablishing democratic rule, has faced harsh criticism for Yangon’s treatment of the Rohingya minority, large numbers of whom have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the face of what they say is a violent military repression campaign.
Amnesty International Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo said in a statement from the London-based group that the organization was withdrawing its Ambassador of Conscience Award given to Ms. Suu Kyi in 2009.
“Our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself,” Mr. Naidoo said. “Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defense of human rights.”
The rights group also faulted Ms. Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s state counselor and de facto political leader, for failing to block repressive domestic laws designed to limit free speech and political opposition since coming to power in April 2016.
“In the two years since Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration assumed power, human rights defenders, peaceful activists and journalists have been arrested and imprisoned while others face threats, harassment and intimidation for their work,” the rights group said in a statementMonday.