As the Rohingya crisis continues to escalate in Myanmar, social media users from across the world had one message: take back the Nobel Peace Prize given to Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi has been criticised by the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslim minority.
A petition on change.org, demanding that the Norwegian Nobel Committee take back her prize, has already received over 292,000 signatures. Similar petitions were started on other online platforms like avaaz.org, with thousands of online users expressing support.
On Twitter, users questioned Suu Kyi’s credibility as a promoter of peace. Twitter user @HafsaSidiqui wrote: “A so-called Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at the helm. They must revoke her Nobel Prize.”
Another user, @alsoknownaszaz, wrote: “Aung San Suu Kyi should hand back her Nobel Prize. She’s not worthy of [it]! #Myanmar #Rakhine @NobelPrize”.
A tweet by Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, quickly went viral yesterday, with several social media users sharing it on their accounts. She called for an end to the violence, adding: “I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same.”
One user, @HumzaYousaf, wrote: “Powerful from @Malala, well done — rightly calling out Aung San Suu Kyi for her inadequate response to Rohingya mistreatment under her watch”.
On Facebook, users posted photographs of Suu Kyi and the Rohingya people, asking users to spread awareness on the issue.
A Facebook user, Ebrahim Mohammad, found the situation in Myanmar “disgraceful and deeply saddening”, adding: “Aung San Suu Kyi is not the person the world believed her to be, she should be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize. She is brushing off the mass killings by her military.”
Social media users also tagged world leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the hope that it would force them to take a stand against the persecution of the Rohingya. Twitter user @SyedEagle wrote: “@JustinTrudeau Genocidal Aung San Suu Kyi should return her Nobel Peace Prize. #RohingyaMuslims.”
It is still to be seen if the social media outrage will have a real-world impact.