Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Amnesty withdraws human rights award from Aung San Suu Kyi

Amnesty withdraws human rights award from Aung San Suu Kyi

Amnesty International has stripped Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour over her "indifference" to the atrocities committed by the country's military against the Muslim-majority Rohingya.

In a letter advising Ms Suu Kyi of the move, Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty's secretary general, said: "As an Amnesty International ambassador of conscience, 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".

She has since faced worldwide pressure, including from Amnesty global, to condemn the army's alleged brutality against the Rohingya.

"Amnesty International can not 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", it said in a letter to Suu Kyi.

"Amnesty International can not 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 chose to do so in light of Suu Kyi's "shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for".

Amnesty International has withdrawn a prestigious human rights award from Aung San Suu Kyi, following what it described as a "shameful betrayal" of the values she once stood for.

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Refugees have given detailed and horrific testimony of murder, rape, torture and arson.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017. Meanwhile, state media have published inflammatory and dehumanising articles referring to the Rohingya as "detestable human fleas" and "thorns" which must be removed.

"It would seem that Aung San Suu Kyi is trying to defend what is indefensible", he told reporters at the Asean Business and Investment Summit here. It said some 130,000 people, including many Rohingya, remain internally displaced in central Rakhine.

Institutions that once showered Suu Kyi with titles are rapidly distancing themselves from a leader they argue is doing little in the face of alleged genocide and ethnic cleansing against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Suu Kyi then reaffirmed her committment to working with the United States to bring democracy to her country of around 50 million people. "Instead, she has actively defended the use of such laws, in particular the decision to prosecute and imprison two Reuters journalists for the work documenting a Myanmar military massacre".

In September, Dr Mahathir said Putrajaya will no longer support Aung San Suu Kyi following her inaction against the poor treatment of Rohingyas in her country, and admitted that he has "lost all faith" in her. At the time she was held under house arrest, which she was eventually released from exactly eight years ago.

Critics have called for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize to be withdrawn but the foundation that oversees the award said it would not do so.

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