The 1990 Rafto Prize for Human Rights was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi (1945), the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, for her peaceful struggle under the military dictatorship.
During the student uprising of 1988 Aung San Suu Kyi became involved in political protests and assisted in founding the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the 1990 general elections. However, the elections were not recognised by the military government of Burma.
Aung San Suu Kyi had already been detained under house arrest before the 1990 elections. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from July 1989 until her release in November 2010. Suu Kyi has become an icon for political liberation and democracy in Burma. Her non-violent struggle for democracy was internationally recognised when she received the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.
Aung San Suu Kyi is the official patron of the Rafto Human Rights House in Bergen, Norway. She paid a historic visit to Bergen in June 2012.
Aung San Suu Kyi has recently met strong criticism from the international community because she, as a political leader, has not condemned or intervened to stop the Burmese miltary-led assaults against the Rohingyas. In 2017 more than 600,000 people escaped from Rakhine state in western Myanmar to Bangladesh.
The Norwegian Burma Committee and Rafto Foundation met with Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar on December 6th 2017 and called on her to acknowledge the human rights violations against the Rohingya population. - Aung San Suu Kyi must be clearer in recognizing the attacks against the Rohingyas, says Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt, Executive Director of the Rafto Foundation.