Amnesty International has withdrawn its highest honour from Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi in light of what it said was the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s “shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for”.
The human rights organisation has announced that its secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, informed Ms Suu Kyi it was revoking her 2009 Ambassador of Conscience Award.
Amnesty has criticised the failure of Ms Suu Kyi and her government to speak out about military atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim population.
Mr Naidoo said on Tuesday morning that Amnesty expected Ms Suu Kyi to use her “moral authority” to speak out against injustice wherever she saw it, especially in Myanmar.
“Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights,” Mr Naidoo told her.
“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,” he said.
“Without acknowledgement of the horrific crimes against the community, it is hard to see how the government can take steps to protect them from future atrocities.”
Ms Suu Kyi’s administration defended the country’s military operations as being a legitimate counterinsurgency operation, saying the findings were one-sided.