Amnesty International on Monday stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour over the de facto Myanmar leader’s “indifference” to the atrocities committed by the military against Rohingya Muslims.
It was the latest in a string of awards the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner lost since Myanmar’s military drove 720,000 Rohingya out of the Buddhist majority country in what the United Nations has called an act of genocide.
The London-based global human rights organisation said it was revoking the Ambassador of Conscience Award it gave Suu Kyi in 2009 while she was still under house arrest.
“Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights,” Amnesty International chief Kumi Naidoo said in a letter to Suu Kyi released by the group.
“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.”
Amnesty said it informed the 73-year-old of the decision on Sunday, and she has so far issued no public response.
Suu Kyi was globally hailed as a freedom fighter who stood up to her country’s feared military junta while spending 15 years under house arrest.
But since her National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to power in a 2015 landslide, her tenure has been marred by a failure to speak up for Rohingya Muslims.
Her government is also fighting an uphill struggle against corruption and local conflicts.
Suu Kyi was stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship over her failure to speak up for the Rohingyas last month.
She has also lost numerous smaller awards from individual universities and local and regional governments.