Bob Geldof returns Dublin honour in Suu Kyi protest

Bob Geldof slammed Aung San Suu Kyi over her country's treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.
Bob Geldof slammed Aung San Suu Kyi over her country's treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.PHOTO: EPA

DUBLIN (AFP) - Musician and Live Aid supremo Bob Geldof on Monday returned his Freedom of the City of Dublin scroll in a protest against Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who holds the same honour.

The Boomtown Rats singer slammed the Nobel peace laureate over her country's treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, saying the city had "been duped" into bestowing the award.

Geldof, who was born and brought up close to the Irish capital, returned the award at Dublin's City Hall.

"Dublin shouldn't have any link with this woman. We've been duped, she's a murderer," he said. He also demanded that the leader hand back her Nobel Prize.

"I would be a hypocrite now were I to share honours with one who has become at best an accomplice to murder, complicit in ethnic cleansing and a handmaiden to genocide."

The United Nations estimates the majority of the Rohingya once living in Rakhine - previously estimated at around one million - have fled a campaign of violence it has likened to ethnic cleansing.

Ms Suu Kyi, who leads Myanmar's pro-democracy party, has been hammered by the international community for failing to use her moral power to speak up in defence of the Rohingya.

She visited northern Rakhine for the first time on Nov 2, having come under mounting pressure to halt the army crackdown that forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee their homes.

She said the Rohingya are welcome back, if they meet contested "verification" criteria for re-entry.