US Holocaust Memorial Museum revokes award to Aung San Suu Kyi for 'not doing enough' on Rohingya persecution

Washington: The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has said it was stripping Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of a prestigious human rights award, accusing her of doing little to halt the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her long campaign against the country's military dictatorship, was awarded the Holocaust Museum's Elie Wiesel award six years ago "for her courageous leadership and great personal sacrifice in resisting tyranny and advancing the freedom and dignity of the Burmese people."

But the Museum said it was rescinding the award due to her inaction over what it called "mounting evidence of genocide" committed by the Myanmar military against civilians from the Rohingya minority.

File image of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. AP

File image of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. AP

"As the military's attacks against the Rohingya unfolded in 2016 and 2017, we had hoped that you - as someone we and many others have celebrated for your commitment to human dignity and universal human rights - would have done something to condemn and stop the military's brutal campaign and to express solidarity with the targeted Rohingya population," the museum said in a letter to Suu Kyi.

Instead, it said, her political party, the National League for Democracy, has refused to cooperate with UN investigators and added to the anti-Rohingya rhetoric.

The party has also obstructed journalists trying to report on the mass murder and expulsion to Bangladesh of the Rohingya.

"The military's orchestration of the crimes against Rohingya and the severity of the atrocities in recent months demand that you use your moral authority to address this situation," they said.

In November a joint report by the Museum and Southeast Asia-based watchdog Fortify Rights -- based on testimony they gathered in the field -- documented "widespread and systematic attacks" on Rohingya civilians.

The award was named after Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi genocide against Jews who spent much of his life campaigning for human rights, himself winning the Nobel Peace Prie in 1986.

Suu Kyi, the country's symbol of democracy for decades, has come under heavy criticism for her refusal to stand up for the Rohingya.

In January US diplomat Bill Richardson resigned from a Suu Kyi-appointed panel set up to ease tensions with the Rohingya, assailing her for an "absence of moral leadership."

About 7,00,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh since August, with horrifying testimony of murder, rape and arson by soldiers and vigilante mobs.

In Geneva on Wednesday the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for a new body tasked with preparing criminal indictments over the Myanmar atrocities.


Updated Date: Mar 08, 2018 07:52 AM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See