An Obama-era human rights envoy, Keith Harper, has called on the UN to set up a commission to probe human rights violations in Myanmar's Rakhine state and not let its leader Aung San Suu Kyi off the hook because of the "iconic status" she holds in the eyes of the West.Harper served as ambassador to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) under former US president Barack Obama's administration from 2014 till January this year.
He accused Suu Kyi of "utterly" failing to address the plight of ethnic Rohingya Muslims in the restive state. He said her image as a hero in front of human rights advocates and Western diplomats has overshadowed the issue and spared her from being held responsible for the persisting issues.
He urged the UNHRC to launch a probe like it has done against Syria, South Sudan, North Korea and Eritrea.
"For far too many, her iconic status as pro-democracy crusader makes it difficult to hold accountable a Suu Kyi-led government no matter the well-documented human rights violations," Harper wrote on the New York-based Just Security online forum.
"Her Nobel Prize has become a most awful kind of shield from proper scrutiny," he said.
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