Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US Holocaust Museum Rescinds Human Rights Award From Aung San Suu Kyi

US Holocaust Museum Rescinds Human Rights Award From Aung San Suu Kyi

The Washington museum's rescission of its Elie Wiesel Award to Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize victor, is the latest honour to be retracted over her silence about widespread abuses against the Rohingya.

The U.S. Holocaust Museum has chose to rescind an award honoring Burmese leader and Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been silent on the ethnic cleansing in her country.

Aung San Suu Kyi has reportedly refused to say the word "Rohingya" in public appearances, and private talk of the "ethnic cleansing", as the USA has called it, makes her angry. It is named for Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

It said Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, under her leadership had "instead refused to cooperate with United Nations investigators, promulgated hateful rhetoric against the Rohingya community, and denied access to and cracked down on journalists trying to uncover the scope of the crimes in Rakhine State", the region of Myanmar where much of the atrocities against the Rohingya are alleged to have occurred.

"We understand the hard situation you must face in confronting decades of military misrule and violence in your country and that institution's still powerful constitutional role". The museum implores her to "use your moral authority to address this situation" and ends with words from Wiesel himself: "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented".

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi walks towards her vehicle after arriving at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India, January 24, 2018. Wiesel, who died in 2016, was a founding chairman of the museum.

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Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine into Bangladesh since insurgent attacks sparked a security crackdown in August, joining 200,000 refugees from a previous exodus. Before that, another wave of refugees began arriving in October 2016.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the political leader of Myanmar, was once the darling of world governments and organizations focused on global humanitarian efforts.

While a United Nations special envoy found what they consider evidence of genocide and other countries, including the USA, have accused the Myanmar military of ethnic cleansing, Suu Kyi remains relatively silent on the issue.

"She doesn't want any dissent".

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council that reports of bulldozing of alleged mass graves showed a "deliberate attempt by the authorities to destroy evidence of potential worldwide crimes, including possible crimes against humanity".

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