United Nations mission blames Facebook for hate speech against Rohingyas

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2018

Government spokesman Zaw Htay said the reports presented Monday by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee lacked credibility.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on insurgents six months ago amid accounts of arson, murder and rape at the hands of soldiers and vigilante mobs in the mainly Buddhist country.

Zaw Htay said Myanmar had barred the Fact-Finding Mission because it rejected its legitimacy.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was last week stripped of a prestigious human rights award by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, which accused her of doing little to halt the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. Many have provided harrowing testimonies of executions and rapes by Myanmar security forces.

"(Social media) has. substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissention and conflict, if you will, within the public a Hate speech is certainly of course a part of that", said Darusman.

United Nations human rights officials condemn the Myanmar government stating the government did not intervene to stop violence in Rakhine state and hold the government accountable for the crimes committed under the global law.

She said accountability for the abuses in Rakhine should be "the focus of the worldwide community's efforts to bring long-lasting peace, stability and democratization to Myanmar".

Facebook is a major news source for people in Myanmar, where it has been used as a platform to stir up public outrage against the Rohingya.

A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable it has "clear rules" against hate speech and the incitement of violence, and that the company works hard to keep it off the platform.

"I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast", Lee told reporters.

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.

"If a person consistently shares content promoting hate, we may take a range of actions such as temporarily suspending their ability to post and ultimately, removal of their account".