Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Freedom of Oxford over Rohingya crisis response

The decision to permanently remove the honour accorded to Aung San Suu Kyi was taken at a meeting of the Oxford City Council following a preliminary vote in October.
The decision to permanently remove the honour accorded to Aung San Suu Kyi was taken at a meeting of the Oxford City Council following a preliminary vote in October.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON - Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped off an honour granting her the Freedom of Oxford over her response to the country's Rohingya crisis.

Oxford city councillors said they did not want to honour "those who turn a blind eye to violence", stripping the Nobel laureate of the freedom of the city granted to her in 1997 for her "long struggle for democracy", reported the BBC.

Ms Suu Kyi spent years under house arrest in Myanmar during the military dictatorship in the country. But her failure to denounce the military or address allegations of ethnic cleansing that have driven more than half a million Rohingya to Bangladesh has been criticised by world leaders and rights groups.

The decision to permanently remove the honour accorded to Ms Suu Kyi was taken at a meeting of the Oxford City Council following a preliminary vote in October.

"Oxford has a long tradition of being a diverse and humane city, and our reputation is tarnished by honouring those who turn a blind eye to violence," said Ms Mary Clarkson, who proposed the motion. "We hope that today we have added our small voice to others calling for human rights and justice for the Rohingya people."

A portrait of Ms Suu Kyi that had been displayed at St Hugh's College, Oxford, had earlier been removed from display.