Amnesty withdraws its highest Human Rights Award from Aung San Suu Kyi

Amnesty International withdraws its most prestigious human rights prize - Ambassador of Conscience Award - from Aung San Suu Kyi

Amnesty International has withdrawn its most prestigious human rights prize – Ambassador of Conscience Award – from Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing the Myanmar leader of perpetuating human rights abuses by not speaking out about violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to speak out for the Rohingya is one reason why we can no longer justify her status as an Ambassador of Conscience,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo. Since the Rohingya exodus that began in August 2017 more than 700,000 members have fled Myanmar.

This is not the first time Suu Kyi, who was once touted as a human rights champion, has been stripped an award.  In March, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum rescinded its top award from Suu Kyi. In September, Canada’s parliament voted to strip Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship.

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Critics have called for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize to be withdrawn but the foundation that oversees the award said it would not do so.

“Our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself,” Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty’s secretary general said in a letter to Suu Kyi.