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Deepak Dogra
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Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of 'Freedom of Oxford' honour

  • Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of 'Freedom of Oxford' honour

Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the "Freedom of Oxford" award by the city's council, over her failure to speak out on abuses against Myanmar's Rohingya.

In a unanimous decision on Monday evening, Oxford City Council voted to strip the Burmese State Counsellor of the award she received in 1997 and collected personally in 2012, after 15 years under house arrest.

"It was right to give the Freedom of the City to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1997 in recognition of her long struggle for democracy and her personal links to Oxford," the cross-party motion read.

But, according to the motion, she had not responded to the council's letter calling on her to "do whatever she can to stop the ethnic cleansing in her country".

More than 600,000 members of the largely-Muslim Rohingya ethnic group have fled to Bangladesh, after Myanmar's military launched a campaign ostensibly aimed at eradicating Rohingya armed groups.

Those who have fled describe a campaign of killing, rape, and destruction, accounts that have been backed by human rights groups and journalists working in the region.

Aung San Suu Kyi has yet to recognise that atrocities are taking place and has not spoken out against the Burmese military.

Labour party councillor Mary Clarkson said the City of Oxford would not turn a "blind eye" to the ongoing violence in Myanmar.

"The burning of [Rohingya] villages has been independently confirmed by satellite images, and the UN has called the situation 'a textbook example of genocide', yet Aung San Suu Kyi has denied any ethnic cleansing and dismissed numerous claims of sexual violence against Rohingya women as 'fake rape'."