Withdraw Sakharov prize from Aung San Suu Kyi

Letter to President Tajani

Dear President Tajani,
For over 30 years, we have awarded the Sakharov prize to individuals or groups who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe. One of the core principles on which the EU itself was founded. Next month you will award the prize to Oleg Sentsov, in absentia as he remains imprisoned.
In 1990, we also recognised Aung San Suu Kyi’s fight for human rights in Myanmar by awarding her the Sakharov prize while we continued to advocate for her release from house arrest. When she eventually took office in 2015, we trusted she would fight for a free and open Myanmar. Yet under Aung San Suu Kyi’s watch, the Myanmar military continues to commit  human rights violations against the Rohingya population. Faced with murder, rape and arsons, thousands have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. They are now at risk of being forced back to Myanmar, despite ongoing threats to their lives.
International efforts to hold people responsible for these human rights violations to account are actively thwarted, while democracy, freedom of expression, as well as journalists and human rights defenders have increasingly come under threat. 
At the end of September, the Canadian government revoked Ms Suu Kyi’s honorary citizenship and earlier this week, Amnesty International withdrew its Ambassador of Conscience Award from her.
Following repeated calls in Parliamentary resolutions about the situation in Myanmar, we again urge you to take the necessary measures to also withdraw the Sakharov prize that was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1990. Failure to do so would be a stain not only on the legacy and future of the Sakharov prize and all those to whom it was awarded, it would also seriously undermine the European Parliament’s position as a staunch defender of human rights globally.
Yours sincerely,

  • Marietje Schaake 
  • Fredrick Federely 
  • Soraya Post 
  • Petras Austrevicius 
  • Ana Gomes 
  • Amjad Bashir
  • Mark Demesmaeker
  • Javier Nart
  • Bern Koelmel 
  • Tokia Saifi
  • Jasenko Selimovic 
  • Miroslav Poche
  • Carlos Zorrinho 
  • Frank Engel 
  • Julie Ward
  • Claude Rolin 
  • Wajid Khan 
  • Pavel Telicka 
  • Maria Teresa Gimenez Barbat 
  • Maria Arena 
  • Jude Kirton-Darling
  • Eva Kaili 
  • Robert Rochefort 
  • Hilde Vautmans 
  • Younous Omarjee 
  • Renate Weber 
  • Eleni Theocharous 
  • Izaskun Bilbao Barandica 
  • Pascal Durand
  • Guy Verhofstadt 
  • Costas Mavrides 
  • Edouard Martin 
  • Jose Inacio Faria 
  • Reinhard Butikofer 
  • Antanas Guoga 
  • Alyn Smith 
  • Ismail Ertug 
  • Gesine Meissner 
  • Nadja Hirsch 
  • Liliana Rodrigues 
  • Peter Niedermuller 
  • Carlos Coelho 
  • Sophie in 't Veld 
  • Hans-Olaf Henkel 
  • Matthijs van Miltenburg 
  • Beatriz Becerra 
  • Tanja Fajon 
  • Urmas Paet 
  • Seb Dance 
  • Evelyne Gebhart 
  • Theresa Griffin 
  • Christophe Hansen 
  • Angelika Mllinar 
  • Alessia Mosca 
  • Ramon Tremosa 
  • Karoline Graswaner-Hainz 
  • Charles Goerens 
  • Morten Helveg Petersen
  • Anneli Jaatteenmaki