Legislators from the European Union said on Thursday that Myanmar State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize winner, will no longer be invited to events of the European Parliament’s human rights prize, which she won in 1990, Reuters reported. The decision was taken as a protest against allegations of massacre of Rohingya Muslims in her country, and her silence on the matter.
Suu Kyi’s suspension from Sakharov Prize events is “a response to her failure to act and her acceptance of the ongoing crimes against the Rohingya community in Myanmar”, the legislators said in a statement. There have been calls in the past to rescind Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize.
But the European Parliament said she has not been stripped of the Sakharov Prize or asked to return the 50,000 euro (Rs 43.63 lakh) prize money, because she had been awarded for her role calling for democracy as a part of Burmese opposition to the ruling junta. Suu Kyi had been repeatedly imprisoned and placed under house arrest until 2010.
More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape a “clearance campaign”, as dubbed by the country’s military, after a Rohingya insurgent group launched an attack in the restive province. The United States Human Rights Council has called the campaign a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. The Myanmar government has repeatedly denied allegations of genocide, saying its military operations were targeting Rohingya militants who attacked border police posts.
Suu Kyi has backed her government in the past, also denying allegations of genocide. However, a report said on Tuesday that two soldiers who deserted the Myanmar Army have testified that they were instructed by commanding officers to “shoot all that you see and that you hear” in villages where minority Rohingya Muslims lived. The two soldiers fled the country last month and are believed to be in the custody of the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, which is examining the violence against the ethnic community, not-for-profit group Fortify Rights said.