The lower house of the Canadian Parliament on Thursday voted unanimously to revoke the honorary citizenship of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in response to her alleged failure to prevent the crimes that the country’s security forces have committed against Rohingya Muslims, reported Reuters.
The move by legislators in the House of Commons came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Parliament was reconsidering if Suu Kyi still deserved the honour. However, the upper Senate chamber also needs to pass a similar resolution before it can be taken away.
Liberal MP Andrew Leslie told the BBC that the next step was not immediately clear. “Now the machinery of government will actually chew over the details of what specifically is required to implement,” he added.
Last week, the House of Commons unanimously agreed to declare the atrocities against Rohingya Muslims a genocide and called on the International Criminal Court to prosecute senior Myanmar military officials for their role in the violence.
The motion endorsed the findings of a United Nations mission that called for the prosecution of top Myanmar military leaders. The House of Commons also welcomed the International Criminal Court’s decision to deal with accusations that Rohingya deportations from Myanmar to Bangladesh are a possible crime against humanity.
Adam Austen, a spokesperson for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, said the Liberal government fully supports the lower house’s move, reported The Globe and Mail. “Our government supported this motion in response to [Suu Kyi’s] continued failure to speak out against the genocide of the Rohingya, a crime being committed by the military with which she shares power,” he added.
Irwin Cotler, a former Cabinet minister and an international human rights lawyer, also welcomed the move. “To maintain that honorary citizenship would have been to diminish the very character of that very distinguished and rare award,” Cotler said. “I think the House did the right thing.”
Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, was granted the honour in 2007, joining Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, the Dalai Lama, Raoul Wallenberg, and the Aga Khan.
In March, the United States Holocaust Museum revoked Suu Kyi’s Elie Wiesel human rights award, which she received in 2012.
UN panel to prepare criminal indictments
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday voted to establish a panel to prepare criminal indictments over the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, reported AFP.
Of the council’s 47 members, 35 voted in favour of the resolution seeking to create an “independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011”.