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4th October 2017

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA): A British honor granted to Myanmar’s leader has been withdrawn amid atrocities targeting the Muslim minority in her country, causing more than half a million Rohingya to take refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price supported the motion to strip State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi of the honor.

People are “absolutely appalled” by the situation in Myanmar, Price said.

He called it “extraordinary” that Suu Kyi had not spoken out about the atrocities in Myanmar.

The Freedom of Oxford honor is a title awarded to persons of distinction and those who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services to the city.

St. Hugh’s College in Oxford removed a portrait of Suu Kyi from display last week.

Since Aug. 25, some 501,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, the UN said on Sept. 28.

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. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised the issue at the UN.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.



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