Citing the “shocking humanitarian abuses” carried out against ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar, authorities in the city of London are moving to revoke an honor given to the country’s leader.
Members of the City of London Corporation – the municipal governing body of the City of London financial/historical capital – on Thursday triggered a process to revoke Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary freedom award, given in 2017, said a statement by the corporation.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace prize winner, has been accused of complicity in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population. Her silence on the issue has attracted severe criticism from across the globe.
“The City of London Corporation condemns the shocking humanitarian abuses carried out in Myanmar, and has already written to the Ambassador for Burma to express its profound concern about the current situation in his country,” the statement said.
The corporation said it would write to Suu Kyi to tell her of its move and “consider her response before a final decision is made.”
- Persecuted people
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.