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Is Facebook Escalating Violence Against Rohingya In Myanmar?

Is Facebook Escalating Violence Against Rohingya In Myanmar?

THE widespread and systematic nature of the State-led violence against Rohingya Muslims in Burma (Myanmar) "points to prior planning and organisation", according to a new report released Monday by the UN Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar.

Crimes verging on genocide were being committed against the Rohingya minority in Burma, and those crimes bore "the fingerprints of the Myanmar government and of the worldwide community", the United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide said on Tuesday.

"It has substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public".

In an emailed statement, Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja said in part: "There is no place for hate speech or content that promotes violence on Facebook, and we work hard to keep it off our platform".

"We know that the ultranationalist Buddhists have their own [Facebook pages] and really [are] inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities", Lee said. "And I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, (instead of) what it was originally meant to be used (for) - maybe in other parts of the world too".

A couple of days ago, the European Union on ordered Facebook, Twitter and Google to remove terrorist content within an hour of being notified of its presence.

"No one should be returned to Myanmar until they can do so voluntarily, in safety and dignity - something that is clearly not possible today", Amnesty International said.

The Myanmar government says that any recent bulldozing has been for benign purposes.

Good thing is, progress is being made, and there is room for improvement.

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An estimated 700,000 Rohingya have fled from northern Rakhine state into Bangladesh since the military launched "area clearance" operations in response to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgent attacks on police outposts last August 25.

In light of Myanmar's denial that any atrocities were committed, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who also suggested acts of genocide may be taking place, called for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media", chairman of the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar told the reporters as a part of the interim findings of its investigation.

"The body of information and materials we are collecting is concrete and overwhelming", the experts of the Fact-Finding Mission said in their oral report.

Heavy artillery was being used in the offensives, UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

At the Naypyitaw news conference, Myanmar officials sought to counter accusations heard at the UN Human Rights Council this week.

Senior officials in Myanmar announced Wednesday that they have begun talks with United Nations agencies to see how they could assist with the repatriation of Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh to escape violence against them.

He added: "Whenever there is clear evidence we will make sure that action is taken against those who have perpetrated any crimes or those who have caused human rights abuses".


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