US Holocaust Museum Rescinds Human Rights Award to Myanmar's Leader

US Holocaust Museum Rescinds Human Rights Award to Myanmar's Leader

US Holocaust Museum Rescinds Human Rights Award to Myanmar's Leader

In what the New York Times calls "perhaps the strongest rebuke yet", the museum on Tuesday informed Aung San Suu Kyi in a letter that it was stripping her of the award due to her response-or non-response, as she has yet to publicly say the word "Rohingya"-to Myanmar's ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya".

Suu Kyi, who lived for 15 years under house arrest for challenging the military dictatorship then ruling Myanmar, was just the second person the Holocaust museum had honored with its award. The award is given to "an internationally prominent individual whose actions have advanced the Museum's vision of a world where people confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity".

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi walks towards her auto after arriving at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India, January 24, 2018.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy have refused to cooperate with United Nations investigators, fed hate attacks on the Rohingya and denied reporters access to areas where alleged abuses have taken place, the museum said in a letter to Suu Kyi that was posted on its website. Now the nature of the violence has been transformed into a campaign of terror and forced hunger to get the remaining Rohingyas to leave their homes and flee to Bangladesh, he said.

In November a joint report by the Museum and Southeast Asia-based watchdog Fortify Rights - based on testimony they gathered in the field - documented "widespread and systematic attacks" on Rohingya civilians. The Elie Wiesel Award is named for the renown author, Holocaust survivor and fellow Nobel Peace Prize victor.

Frustration with her over the issue even caused former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson to quit a committee led by Suu Kyi that was meant to address issues in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

In January US diplomat Bill Richardson resigned from a Suu Kyi-appointed panel set up to ease tensions with the Rohingya, assailing her for an "absence of moral leadership".

After concluding a four-day visit to Cox's Bazar and visiting the camps in Bangladesh, Gilmour warned of the serious situation of the 700,000 Rohingya refugees.

The UN's human rights chief on Wednesday voiced "strong suspicions" that Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya might be the victims of genocide and continued "ethnic cleansing".

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