Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Atrocities on Rohingya were preventable: United Nations adviser

Atrocities on Rohingya were preventable: United Nations adviser Atrocities on Rohingya were preventable: United Nations adviser
Patty Aguilar | 13 March, 2018, 19:12

The Fact-Finding Mission said in an interim report presented in Geneva that "patterns of human rights abuse across the country are linked", with events in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states all "products of a longstanding, systemic pattern of human rights violation and abuse in Myanmar".

Facebook had no immediate comment on the criticism on Monday, although in the past the company has said that it was working to remove hate speech in Myanmar and kick off people who shared such content consistently.

UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said the government used Facebook to disseminate information to the public.

A top United Nations rights expert on Monday had warned that the crackdown on Myanmar's Rohingya minority bore "the hallmarks of genocide" and insisted the government should be held accountable.

Almost 700 000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August, crossing into Bangladesh with stories of murder, rape and arson at the hands of soldiers and Buddhist mobs in Rakhine state.

"Despite the numerous warnings I have made of the risk of atrocity crimes, the global community has buried its head in the sand", he said adding, this has cost the Rohingya population of Myanmar their lives, their dignity and their homes.

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But Darusman said they had "hundreds of credible accounts of the most harrowing nature" including corroborated evidence of brutal gang rapes, sexual violence against women and the killing of babies and children.

Reuters reports that in an interim submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council, fact-finding mission chair Marzuki Darusman emphasized the "determining role" of social media networks in the conflict, which he said "substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict" in Myanmar.

He said: "What I have heard and witnessed in Cox's Bazaar is a human tragedy with the fingerprints of the Myanmar government and of the worldwide community". Because of that, it's been easy for ultra-nationalists to use the platform to stoke hatred against the Rohingya minority, who have been targeted by government forces, killed by the thousands and driven out of the country.

She further adds, "I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended".

What's more, Rohingya activists in the country told The Daily Beast previous year that the social network had been censoring their posts.

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