TRENTON, Canada (AA) – The Canadian Parliament voted Thursday to revoke the honorary citizenship of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The move follows a recent Canadian motion to designate the Myanmar military crimes against the Rohingya minority as genocide and to back a UN mission to map out the crimes against humanity committed by the military.
In a report, the UNHCR refugee agency said nearly 170,000 people likely fled Myanmar in 2012 alone.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
In a recent report, Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience, the OIDA raised the estimated number of murdered Rohingya to 23,962 (± 881) from a Doctors Without Borders figure of 9,400.
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police. Over 115,000 Rohingya houses were also burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community.
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 Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.
Many countries, including Canada, have criticized Suu Kyi for not doing enough to prevent the persecution and bloodshed.
Canada has only bestowed a handful of honorary citizenships in its history, including to Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in 2014, bringing the number to six.
Suu Kyi, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, received the Canadian honor in 2007.
But her silence as the Rohingya were slaughtered despite urging from Canada and others to speak out provoked Canada to take action.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was present in the House of Commons when the motion passed, had said Wednesday “Parliament granted her the honorary citizenship” and could certainly revoke it.