The United States Holocaust Museum on Wednesday revoked Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s human rights award for not responding strongly enough to the mass killings of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, AP reported.
The Elie Wiesel Award was given to Suu Kyi in 2012. It is named after Elie Wiesel – also a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a Holocaust survivor who was one of the museum’s founders, The New York Times reported. Wiesel was the first recipient of this award.
The museum’s letter to Suu Kyi, which The New York Times accessed, says, “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.”
Suu Kyi’s spokesperson said the museum’s decision was based on “the wrong information”, according to AP. The spokesperson said it made the Myanmar government “very disappointed and sad”.
The annual award is given “to an internationally prominent individual whose actions have advanced the museum’s vision of a world where people confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity,” the museum said, according to the report.
Suu Kyi has faced global criticism for her poor handling of the attacks on the minority community. In December 2017, she was stripped of her “Freedom of the City of Dublin” award. A month earlier, the Oxford City Council voted unanimously to revoke her “Freedom of Oxford” title.
The refugee crisis
Nearly seven lakh Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state after a militant attack on security forces in August 2017 resulted in a violent crackdown. The refugees have since been living in camps across Bangladesh.
In January, Myanmar and Bangladesh finalised an agreement to send back thousands of Rohingya refugees. The repatriation process was to begin on January 23 and last two years.
However, days later, Bangladesh said it will not start sending back Rohingya Muslim refugees. Officials said several problems remained unresolved with Myanmar and pointed out that the transit camps in Myanmar where refugees will stay were not yet ready.