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Aung San Suu Kyi Holocaust Museum Award Revoked
March 22 2018, 05:38 | Perry Erickson
UN Official Demanded to Stop the Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar
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.
United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Wednesday that a similar body was needed for Myanmar, where senior United Nations officials have said the military is continuing to wage a campaign against the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group that amounts to "ethnic cleansing".
The Washington museum's rescission of its Elie Wiesel Award to Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize victor, is the latest honor to be retracted over her silence about widespread abuses against the Rohingya.
An estimated 700,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh since an army crackdown was launched in Rakhine in August.
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 military's orchestration of the crimes against Rohingya and the severity of the atrocities in recent months demand that you use your moral authority to address this situation", the museum wrote in its letter. While Myanmar has taken important first steps on the road to democracy, any transition that does not protect the country's most vulnerable communities will be deeply flawed.
The award was named after Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi genocide against Jews who spent much of his life campaigning for human rights, himself winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
As Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi's authority is restricted by the military's influence over numerous country's institutions. Before that, another wave of refugees began arriving in October 2016.
The U.N. has said that the situation bears the markings of "genocide", and several world leaders have declared it "ethnic cleansing". This has resulted in a handful of awards being rescinded as well as public criticism from fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Suu Kyi is Myanmar's state counselor and foreign minister.
"She doesn't want any dissent".
"Access for independent human rights monitoring is practically non-existent across Myanmar, but it appears clear that longstanding discriminatory policies and practices also continue against other groups", Hussein said. "Nothing is her fault or her government's fault, and that's become a real problem, in my view".