Holocaust Museum pulls Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's human rights award

UN Acts of genocide suspected against Rohingya in Myanmar

Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine into Bangladesh since insurgent attacks sparked a security crackdown in August, joining 200,000 refugees from a previous exodus. In a report last December, the global humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent, or 6,700 Rohingya, were caused by violence.

"As the military's attacks against the Rohingya unfolded in 2016 and 2017, we had hoped that you - as someone we and many others have celebrated for your commitment to human dignity and universal human rights - would have done something to condemn and stop the military's brutal campaign and to express solidarity with the targeted Rohingya population", it said in the letter. Now, the second person to ever receive the honor (Wiesel himself was the first, in 2011) has seen it rescinded.

Instead, the letter said, she and her political party, the National League for Democracy, have refused to co-operate with United Nations investigators, blocked access to journalists and "promulgated hateful rhetoric against the Rohingya community".

In response to the museum's action, a spokesman for Suu Kyi said the decision appeared to be based on "the wrong information" and that it made the Myanmar government "very disappointed and sad".

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

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The rate of killings and sexual violence in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar, has decreased compared to previous year, but killings, systematic rapes, torture, and kidnapping continue, he said.

The UN assistant secretary-general said that during a four-day visit to Bangladesh, refugees told him "credible accounts of continued killings, rape, torture and abductions as well as forced starvation" in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine. While Myanmar shows the thumb at the United Nations by refusing to let in neutral observers to see for themselves what has happened in the state of Rakhine, how long will it be before the world's inaction convinces the Myanmar government that it faces no serious threat in terms of punitive sanctions?

It has justified the crackdown as an effort to root out Rohingya militants who attacked border police posts in August, killing about a dozen people.

"It is with great regret that we are now rescinding that award", the U.S. Holocaust Museum wrote in a related press release Tuesday. Authorities in Myanmar accuse them of possessing state secrets. They speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, and they have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982. "Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented", the museum added in its press statement, quoting Elie Wiesel.

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