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EU lawmakers suspend Myanmar's Suu Kyi from rights prize events

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the top United Nations court, after court hearings in a case against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, in The Hague, Netherlands December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will no longer be invited to events of the European Parliament’s human rights prize, which she won in 1990, EU lawmakers said on Thursday, a protest over accusations of genocide in her country.

Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner of Myanmar’s then ruling military junta in the 1990s who now rules as state counselor, was awarded the parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 1990.

As part of that honour, she is also invited to gatherings of prize laureates, EU lawmakers and rights organisations to campaign on rights issues internationally.

EU lawmakers said in a statement that her suspension from Sakharov Prize events was “a response to her failure to act and her acceptance of the ongoing crimes against the Rohingya community in Myanmar”.

Suu Kyi, who came to power after a landslide election victory in 2015 that ended half a century of army rule, is accused internationally of failing to denounce a military campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Her stance on the Rohingyas has seen her stripped of other awards, calls for the Nobel committee to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize that she won in 1991 and criticism from former supporters.

Suu Kyi denies genocide and has defended her country against the charges in the U.N. court in The Hague.

The EU parliament said she was not stripped of the prize or asked to return the 50,000 euro ($59,000) prize money because the award was for her pro-democracy role in opposition at the time, when she was repeatedly imprisoned and placed under house arrest until her release in 2010.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Frances Kerry