Published 02 Dec 2018
Amidst Myanmar leader’s “indifference” to the atrocities committed by the military against Rohingya Muslims, Paris city will strip Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary freedom of the French capital.
It is the latest in the string of awards, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has lost since Myanmar’s military drove 7,20,000 Rohingya out of the Buddhist majority country in what the United Nations has called an act of genocide.
The move, which follows similar decisions by Glasgow, Edinburgh and Oxford, would make Myanmar’s de facto leader the first person to lose the freedom of the French capital, a purely symbolic award.
Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi, once feted as a democracy icon in the mould of Nelson Mandela for leading opposition to Myanmar’s military junta, has fallen out of favour in the West over her inaction in the face of the crackdown on the mostly Muslim Rohingya.
More than 700,000 Rohingyas fled violence in the Buddhist-majority country last year, mostly to neighbouring Bangladesh.
A UN rights team found evidence of widespread murder, rape, torture and arson and called for top generals to be prosecuted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Hidalgo’s office said the mayor wrote to Suu Kyi late last year to “express her concern and call for respect for the rights of the Rohingya minority”, but that the letter went unanswered. ( AFP )