Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday lost her “Freedom of Oxford” title conferred by the Oxford City Council, for her handling of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. The council voted unanimously to take away the honour.
As State Counsellor, Suu Kyi is the de-facto leader of Myanmar. She has been criticised by world leaders and human rights organisations for the alleged “ethinic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
A motion at the Oxford City Council said it was “no longer appropriate” for her to hold it. People are “absolutely appalled” by the situation in Myanmar, Oxford City Council leader Bob Price told BBC. The council will hold a special meeting on November 27 to confirm the withdrawal of the title, reported Oxford Mail.
The Oxford City Council awards the honorary title to persons of distinction and persons who have rendered eminent services to the city. Suu Kyi was given the honour in December 1997 for her pro-democracy activism. She collected the award in person in June 2012.
The Rohingya crisis
Lakhs of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks, after violence broke out in Rakhine state. Rohingyas have been denied citizenship in Myanmar and are classified as illegal immigrants. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar, though the country has repeatedly denied this claim.