The state counsellor of Myanmar was stripped of Sheffield City Council’s highest honour today due to the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya community in her country.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 72, was initially awarded the ‘Freedom of the City’ in recognition of her non-violent work against the military dictatorship in Myanmar (Burma).
However, a lack of condemnation against recent events has led to the council taking action.
The Myanmar military has been accused of ethnically cleansing Myanmar of it’s Rohingya population, leading to mass migration to Bangladesh.
In 2007, the same year that Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded Freedom of the City, Sheffield became the UK’s first “City of Sanctuary”.
This title was in recognition of how the city takes pride in welcoming refugees and asylum-seekers.
Councillor Shaffaq Mohamed spoke about how holding that title means we have a responsibility to take action.
He said: “Things have changed. We can’t stand by as a City of Sanctuary and not take notice that she isn’t protecting her own citizens.”
Councillor Mohamed was also in favour of campaigning for Suu Kyi to have her Nobel Peace Prize removed.
Suu Kyi was awarded the prize while under house arrest in 1990, as part of protests over Myanmar’s military dictatorship.