Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of a prestigious human rights award by Amnesty International due to “her apparent indifference to atrocities committed” against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority. Aung San Suu Kyi received Amnesty International’s highest honor, the ambassador of conscience award, in 2009 while she was still under order of house arrest by the Myanmar government and actively advocating for peace and democracy. At the time, she was described as “a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defense of human rights” by Irene Khan, Amnesty International’s then secretary general.
Since her release from house arrest, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has failed to acknowledged or condemn the atrocities committed against Rohingya people in her country. “Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defense of human rights,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote. Myanmar’s military have carried out killings and gang rapes against the Rohingya with “genocidal intent,” according to UN investigators. As a result, more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh. In September, Aung San Suu Kyi defended the imprisonment of two Reuters journalists for investigating the massacre of Rohingya in Myanmar.