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Indications Myanmar cleansing Rohingyas — UN genocide adviser

13 March 2018

Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, told reporters that Facebook in particular had played a "determining role" in Myanmar.

But it has drawn criticism for a take-off that has coincided with a rise in ethnically-charged hate speech and violence, particularly in Rakhine state.

Lee, who was informed late a year ago that her access to the country was denied, also expressed serious concern that "the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more" in Myanmar, describing the situation faced by civil society across the country as "increasingly perilous".

Myanmar's government on Tuesday rejected two reports presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council that concluded it committed extreme human rights violations, probably amounting to crimes under worldwide law, in its repression of several minority groups.

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Over 650,000 Rohingya Muslims have taken refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmars' Rakhine state after insurgent attacks led to a security crackdown last August.

Dieng said he was "perplexed" by Myanmar's denial of the litany of abuses against the Rohingya, and urged the United Nations to consider different options to hold authorities to account.

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". "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".

The South Korean academic, who has been barred from visiting Myanmar, called for a UN-backed investigation based in Bangladesh.

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Similarly, UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said Facebook's role in disseminating information to the public plays a huge part of the public's life, which has affected their views on the genocide that is taking place. "The government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable".

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been the target of global vitriol for a perceived failure to stand up for the stateless minority.

Facebook has always been criticised for its role in the Rohingya crisis, an assessment now underscored by comments by United Nations investigators. Last year, medical humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières said that at least 6,700 Rohingya were slain in Rakhine by "the most conservative estimations".

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Indications Myanmar cleansing Rohingyas — UN genocide adviser