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Oxford Strips Aung San Suu Kyi of Human Rights Honor Over Rohingya Crisis

Amid criticism of her remarks on Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi will be stripped of the Freedom of the City of Oxford.

According to Channel News Asia, a cross-party motion deeming the Burmese politician “no longer appropriate” to be celebrated has been supported by the Oxford city council following a unanimous vote. The decision to revoke the honor came after St Hugh’s College of Oxford, where Suu Kyi had previously studied, took down her portrait from public display. The decision will be finalized at a special council meeting on November 27.

The Oxford council bestowed the freedom of the city on Suu Kyi in 1997 while she was being held on house arrest in Burma by the military junta.

The popularity of Myanmar’s de facto leader in the United Kingdom seems to have taken a hit since her October 3 speech to the country, in which she failed to criticize the military or mention allegations of ethnic cleansing, despite acknowledging abuse of human rights.

Many other British establishments are reconsidering or already are removing honors awarded to Suu Kyi in the past, reports The Guardian. Her honorary membership at Unison, the second largest trade union in the UK, will be suspended, and the London School of Economics student union is revoking her honorary presidency. Meanwhile, Bristol University is reviewing her honorary degrees.

On September 11, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein accused Myanmar of violating human rights in their military offensive, with rampant extrajudicial murders, rape and other crimes. Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee to Bangladesh with no likelihood of returning, since they are considered stateless individuals by the Burmese government. The High Commissioner labeled this situation “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” reports The New York Times.

[Photo via The Star]


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