Facebook bans Min Aung Hlaing, army top brass after United Nations genocide allegations
01:15, Aug 28, 2018
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A report to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday is calling for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar's military leaders for war crimes, including Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi "has not used her de facto position as Head of Government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events in Rakhine".
Since the Myanmar military's campaign of ethnic cleansing began last August, several countries and multilateral institutions - including the United States, Canada, and the European Union - have imposed travel and financial sanctions on several Myanmar security force commanders, units, and individuals implicated in atrocities, the vast majority in Rakhine State. The case will be sent to the International Criminal Court in the Hague or will be presented for an ad hoc tribunal to be created to investigate the actions of the alleged perpetrators. The government, however, sees them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and denies them citizenship.
"I think what's happened is this United Nations fact-finding mission has taken a lot of time and a lot of trouble to really try to amass as much evidence as they can, to double check allegations, to go back for more interviews and I think that's why it's taken the time that it has", said Rae. Since then, more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled across the border to seek refuge in sprawling camps in Bangladesh, often carrying little more than the clothes they were wearing.
"The ethnic violence in Myanmar has been truly horrific", Facebook said in its statement.
"The Fact-Finding Mission's powerful report and clear recommendations demonstrate the obvious need for concrete steps to advance criminal justice for atrocious crimes, instead of more hollow condemnations and expressions of concern", said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"Through their acts and omissions, the civilian authorities have contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes", the report adds.
The 20-page report consisting of its main findings was based on 847 interviews, satellite imagery, authenticated documents, photographs, and video, and covered serious abuses in Rakhine, Shan, and Kachin States from 2011 to the present.
At a press conference, the mission said the actions in Myanmar account to the "gravest crimes under worldwide law", stating that "criminal prosecution is warranted", under the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The report said the situation was a "catastrophe looming for decades", and an inevitable result of "severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death".
Darusman said a wider confidential list of suspects included civilians and insurgents as well as members of the military. "The U.S. will continue to hold those responsible accountable".
Facebook (FB) said that the ban applied to Myanmar Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing as well as a military television network. The report said the social media company should have acted quicker.
"Although improved in recent months, Facebook's response has been slow and ineffective".
Facebook also said it removed dozens of accounts for engaging in a campaign that "used seemingly independent news and opinion pages to covertly push the messages of the Myanmar military".
"We're removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by nearly 12 million people", the statement further reads.
The company had already pledged to hire more Burmese speakers to monitor hate speech on Facebook, but the removal of the military-linked accounts shows a step-up in actions against those accused of promoting anti-Rohingya rhetoric.
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