Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour

Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour
Aung San Suu Kyi with President Michael D Higgins during her 2012 visit to Dublin.

Amnesty International announced that it has withdrawn its highest honour from Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Ambassador of Conscience Award was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi in 2009 and after being released from house arrest she was finally able to accept the award at an event in Dublin in 2012.

The award was revoked in light of the Myanmar leader's "shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for".

Amnesty International's Secretary General Kumi Naidoo yesterday wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi to inform her that the organisation is revoking the award.

"As an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience, 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,” wrote Kumi Naidoo.

Digital Desk

Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights. Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you.

When she accepted the honour in Dublin six years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi asked the organisation to "not take either your eyes or your mind off us and help us to be the country where hope and history merges".

Speaking today, Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said that they took her request very seriously "which is why we will never look away from human rights violations in Myanmar".

Amnesty International has repeatedly criticised the failure of Aung San Suu Kyi and her government to speak out about military atrocities against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State.

Amnesty said that although the civilian government does not have control over the military, Aung San Suu Kyi and her office have shielded the security forces from accountability by dismissing, downplaying or denying allegations of human rights violations and by obstructing international investigations into abuses.

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