Newstalk
Newstalk

19.52 13 Dec 2017


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Dublin City councillors have voted to revoke the Freedom of the City awarded to the de facto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The vote was passed overwhelmingly by 49 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.

Mrs Suu Kyi - a Nobel Peace Prize winner - has faced growing international pressure over her handling of the plight of Rohingya Muslims in her country.

In a statement, independent Councillor Cieran Perry welcomed the move.

He argued: “The daily oppression of the Rohingya cannot be allowed to continue - and if the revoking of this honour contributes to the pressure on the Burmese Government to respect their fellow citizens, it is to be welcomed."

Myanmar's police and army launched a violent crackdown in the northern Rakhine state following attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts in August.

It is believed that thousands of people in the state have been killed or tortured by security forces, while human rights groups have documented partial or total destruction of Rohingya villages.

According to the United Nations, more than 620,000 Rohingya refugees are believed to have fled to Bangladesh since August as a result of the violence.

Prominent voices such as U2 - who had been vocal supporters of Mrs Suu Kyi during her time as a political prisoner - are among those who have called for the leader to take action and more forcibly speak out against the violence.

Bob Geldof last month returned his own Freedom of the City award, saying he was returning the honour in protest over Myanmar's leader continuing to hold the same accolade.

Councillors also voted to accept the removal of Mr Geldof's name from the roll of honour.

Independent Councillor Mannix Flynn defended Mr Geldof's actions, observing: "We are taking Aung San Suu Kyi because she's silent - Bob Geldof is coming off because he's not silent. He's using his position, in terms of the scroll of the Freedom of the City, to bring more light into the particular process."


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