Mumbai: Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest award it conferred on the Burmese leader in 2009. Suu Kyi has faced international condemnation for her role in the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in her own country.
“Amnesty International announced today that it has withdrawn its highest honor, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, from Aung San Suu Kyi, in light of the Myanmar leader’s shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for", Amnesty said in a statement dated November 11, 2018.
“On 11 November, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi to inform her the organization is revoking the 2009 award. Half way through her term in office, and eight years after her release from house arrest, Naidoo expressed the organization’s disappointment that she had not used her political and moral authority to safeguard human rights, justice or equality in Myanmar, citing her apparent indifference to atrocities committed by the Myanmar military and increasing intolerance of freedom of expression", the Amnesty statement 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,” wrote Kumi Naidoo.
“Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defense of human rights. 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", Naidoo added.
Aung San Suu Kyi was named as Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience in 2009, in recognition of her peaceful and non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. At the time she was held under house arrest, which she was eventually released from exactly eight years ago today. When she was finally able to accept the award in 2013, Aung San Suu Kyi asked Amnesty International to “not take either your eyes or your mind off us and help us to be the country where hope and history merges.”
“Amnesty International took Aung San Suu Kyi’s request that day very seriously, which is why we will never look away from human rights violations in Myanmar,” said Kumi Naidoo.
“We will continue to fight for justice and human rights in Myanmar – with or without her support", Naidoo said.
Aung San Suu Kyi was earlier stripped of Elie Wiesel Award rescinded by US Holocaust Museum in March this year. There is also a petition submitted to the Chair of the Nobel Committee to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of Nobel Peace Prize, and the other urging that the Myanmar leader must be tried in European court of human rights are receiving overwhelming response.
Aung San Suu Kyi was also chosen for the '2017 International Islamophobe of the Year Award' at the annual Islamophobia Awards ceremony conducted by the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission.
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