16, Nov 2018
Amnesty International has stripped Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, BBC reported. She was awarded the prize in 2009, while she was under house arrest. In a letter, Amnesty Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote, “We are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights,” adding, “[Her] denial of the gravity and scale of the atrocities [against the Rohingya] means there is little prospect of the situation improving”. Around 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar following a military crackdown in 2017. According to Nick Beake, BBC’s Myanmar correspondent, United Nations investigators have “concluded that, while she was not complicit in the alleged genocide last year,” Aung San Suu Kyi “failed to use her moral authority to help prevent the murder and rape of thousands of Rohingyas by the still-dominant army.” In 1989, Beake noted, Amnesty International declared her a “prisoner of conscience”. She spent nearly 15 years under house arrest for her efforts towards democracy in Myanmar. However, Amnesty has now said that it “can no longer justify her status as an Ambassador of Conscience”.