“You have chosen to overlook and excuse the brutal oppression and crimes against humanity committed by the military against the Rohingya and against minorities in Kachin and northern Shan States,” Amnesty International wrote to Myanmar leader on Sunday.
LONDON — The Amnesty International has withdrawn its highest honour from Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for overlooking and excusing the brutal oppression against Rohingyas in her country and shielding the military from international scrutiny for the crimes against humanity.
Nine years ago, Amnesty International had recognized her with its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience award.
“When we presented you the award, you clearly stood as “a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defence of human rights, not only to the people of Myanmar but to people around the world. 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 Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo in a letter to the Myanmar leader on Sunday.
Amnesty will publicly announce the withdrawal Tuesday (13th Nov).
Sadly, we can no longer justify this honour and today we are withdrawing the award pic.twitter.com/gYenr0HAYg
— Kumi Naidoo (@kuminaidoo) November 12, 2018
“Instead, we are deeply alarmed and disappointed by your clear and consistent betrayal of the very values you promoted for decades. You have chosen to overlook and excuse the brutal oppression and crimes against humanity committed by the military against the Rohingya and against minorities in Kachin and northern Shan States, and your office has actively shielded the military from international scrutiny and accountability,” he said.
“We have also been appalled to witness your administration spread hate narratives against minorities, fostering rather than challenging discrimination and hostility. As an organization which campaigned tirelessly for your release – and the release of all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar – we are dismayed that your government has not only failed to repeal or amend repressive laws but has actively used them to curb freedom of expression, and arrest and imprison human rights defenders, journalists and other peaceful activists.”
“Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights.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,” the Amnesty said.
As State Counsellor, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Office of the President, Aung San Suu Kyi is the de facto leader of Myanmar’s civilian-led government since April 2016.
“During the campaign of violence unleashed against the Rohingya last year the Myanmar security forces killed thousands, raped women and girls, detained and tortured men and boys, and burned hundreds of homes and villages to the ground. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh. A UN report has called for senior military officials to be investigated and prosecuted for the crime of genocide,” Amnesty said.