Efforts made to 'cleanse' Rohingya, UN genocide adviser says

Efforts made to 'cleanse' Rohingya, UN genocide adviser says

"It has ... substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissention and conflict, if you will, within the public". The panel has repeatedly been denied visas to visit Myanmar.

A U.N. fact-finding mission has highlighted the role of social media networks, and Facebook in particular, in fueling hate speech against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, telling the U.N. Human Rights Council this week that "incitement to violence" is "rampant" and "unchecked".

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

Backstory: Last August, military forces in Myanmar conducted operations focused on Rohingya Muslims.

This "master database", she said, could then be used as the basis to put the "individuals who gave the orders and carried out violations against individuals and entire ethnic and religious groups" on trial in worldwide criminal courts or tribunals.

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".

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The Fact-Finding Mission said it found evidence of human rights violations against the Kachin, Shan and Rohingya minorities "in all likelihood amounting to crimes under global law".

Lee adds that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists also have their own Facebook accounts which incite "a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities". "I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended".

Calls have been mounting for the creation of a UN-backed investigation to prepare criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar.

The most prominent of Myanmar's hard-line nationalist monks, Wirathu, emerged from a one-year preaching ban on Saturday and said his anti-Muslim rhetoric had nothing to do with violence in Rakhine state. The quest for accountability "must be aimed at the individuals who gave the orders and carried out violations against individuals and entire ethnic and religious groups", Lee said. Much of the global focus has been on the role of Aung San Suu Kyi in the campaign of violence.

Facebook has not yet made any public comment on the charges yet.

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