Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Freedom of Oxford award over Rohingya crisis
Aung San Suu Kyi poses for photographers at the Bodleian Libraries after receiving an honorary degree at Oxford University in Oxford, northwest of London, on June 20, 2012. (Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall)
Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the Freedom of the City of Oxford award over her response to the Rohingya crisis.
Following a preliminary vote in October, the Oxford city council voted on Monday (Nov 27) to permanently remove the honour.
"Today we have taken the unprecedented step of stripping her of the city’s highest honour because of her inaction in the face of oppression of the minority Rohingya population," said city councillor Mary Clarkson who proposed the motion, according to the BBC.
"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.
"We hope that today we have added our small voice to others calling for human rights and justice for the Rohingya people," she added.
BBC added that St Hugh's College, Oxford, where Aung San Suu Kyi studied, has removed her portrait from display.
The vote by the Oxford city council comes as Pope Francis held talks with Myanmar's military chief at the start of a delicate visit to a majority-Buddhist country.
Aung San Suu Kyi was given the honour in 1997 in recognition of her struggle for democracy in Myanmar which was under military rule.
The Nobel laureate has been lambasted by right groups for failing to speak up for the Rohingya or condemn festering anti-Muslim sentiment in the country.
More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh over the past two-and-a-half months.