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Jakarta Post

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi stripped of top rights honor

  • Tama Salim

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 13, 2018   /   09:14 am
Myanmar’s Suu Kyi stripped of top rights honor Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi waves with Philippines' Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak during the Leaders Welcome and Family Photo at the one-off summit of 10-member ASEAN in Sydney, Australia, March 17. (Reuters/David Gray)

Rights group Amnesty International announced on Tuesday that it had withdrawn its highest honor, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, from Aung San Suu Kyi, in light of the Myanmar leader’s "betrayal of values she once stood for".

Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo wrote to Suu Kyi on Sunday to inform her the organization was revoking the 2009 award.

Naidoo expressed the organization’s disappointment that Suu Kyi 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.

“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,” he wrote.

“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.”

Suu Kyi is in Singapore to attend the ASEAN Summit series of meetings, where she is expected to face scrutiny on the plight of the Rohingya.

Many diplomats and rights activists say ASEAN's credibility is at risk if it fails to tackle the matter head on.

A United Nations report in August detailed mass killings and gang rapes with genocidal intent in a military crackdown that began in 2017 and drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh.