Rohingya crisis: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Freedom of Oxford award

Rohingya crisis: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Freedom of Oxford award

Aung San Suu Kyi will be stripped of her Freedom of Oxford award

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be stripped of her Freedom of Oxford award due to her response to the Rohingya crisis.

She had been given the award in 1997 for her "struggle for democracy," after completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford.

However unanimous vote was given by Oxford City Council saying it is now "no longer appropriate" to praise Suu Kyi, according to The Independent.

When announcing the proposed move, local councillor Mary Clarkson said that the reputation of Oxford is “tarnished by honouring those who turn a blind eye to violence.

“While the UN calls the situation a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing', Aung San Suu Kyi denies any ethnic cleansing and dismisses numerous claims of sexual violence against Rohingya women as 'fake rape'.”

The leader has been criticised for not taking action on the reported violence against Rohingya Muslims in the country.

Whilst Suu Kyi originally condemned human rights violations and said those attacking the Rohingya would be punished, critics say she then failed to deal with ethnic cleansing allegations and refused to criticise the work of the army, which is widely seen as responsible for the violence.

Sheffield City Council is also considering stripping the leader of a freedom award following a petition, and her previous college has taken down a picture of her which was on display. The Unison union has also suspended Suu Kyi's honorary membership.

Calls have been made for her Nobel Peace Prize to be removed, however the Nobel Institute claims this is impossible once awarded.