Myanmar's Suu Kyi Loses Oxford Award over Rohingya Crisis

TEHRAN(Tasnim) - Aung San Suu Kyi has been formally stripped of the Freedom of the City of Oxford award over her response to the repression of her country’s Rohingya Muslims.

Oxford city council voted unanimously to permanently remove the honor given to the de facto leader of Myanmar in 1997, and said it did not want to celebrate “those who turn a blind eye to violence”.

Oxford councilors had previously voted to support a cross-party motion to remove the award, and made the decision official in a vote on Monday evening, The Guardian reported.

The vote comes on the same day Myanmar’s powerful army chief told Pope Francis there is “no religious discrimination” in Myanmar.

Over 600, 00 Rohingya Muslims have been driven from Rakhine state in western Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh through a series of military operations, which the United Nations has described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

In 2012, Suu Kyi was celebrated with an honorary doctorate from Oxford, and held her 67th birthday party at St Hugh’s college, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics between 1964 and 1967.

But in recent months she has attracted growing criticism for her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. In September, the governing body of St Hugh’s decided to remove a painting of her from its main entrance, days before the start of the university term and the arrival of new students.

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