Myanmar Rohingya: Aung San Suu Kyi cuts a haunted figure in court

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Media captionAung San Suu Kyi: “Our greatest challenge is to address the roots of distrust and fear, prejudice and hate”
The spectacle of Aung San Suu Kyi, a once-persecuted Nobel peace laureate now defending her country against allegations of genocide over its treatment of the Rohingya minority, has been one of bewildering irony. In the years after she was released from house arrest in 2010, princes, presidents and prime ministers welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi with open arms into their own opulent homes. The feel-good factor of rubbing shoulders with someone who had dedicated much of her adult life to the pursuit of democracy was irresistible. Then, the grandeur of the Peace Palace in The Hague – a marble-floored monument to global harmony – would have been comfortable surroundings for Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. A native habitat, even.But not now. There was no red carpet, welcoming committee or brass band. Instead the light pouring through the stained glass of the Great Hall of Justice illuminated an often haunted-looking figure who had chosen to come and listen to descriptions of some of the most unimaginably gruesome acts. Acts said to have been committed in her country. On her watch.

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Media captionWatch: Who are the Rohingya?
After two years on trial in the court of international public opinion, Aung San Suu Kyi was now trying to win over the 17 judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – as she defended the same Myanmar military which had taken away her freedom for 15 years. It was something she – and the rest of the world – surely never imagined would happen.The cognitive dissonance of a faded beacon of universal human rights arguing against the horrific testimony of some of the 740,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who had her fled her country pulsed through Th

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