United Nations officials point finger at Myanmar for 'crimes under global law'

Myanmar Army Grabbing Land Left by Fleeing Rohingya Amnesty International

Dhaka - The UN's top official on preventing genocide said Tuesday efforts were made to "cleanse" the Rohingya and that returning the persecuted Muslim minority to Myanmar risked further atrocities against them.

Investigators from the United Nations are now looking into a potential - the investigators recently said they are "becoming more convinced" that a genocide occurred - genocide in Myanmar that happened between October 2016 and August 2017.

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

Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee told the Human Rights Council that violent sweeps by the Myanmar army in Rakhine state that prompted about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh "bear the hallmarks of genocide".

The UN human rights experts have blamed Facebook for playing a key role in spreading hate speech against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Many have provided harrowing testimonies of executions and rapes by Myanmar security forces.

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.

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The evidence they had collected "points at human rights violations of the most serious kind, in all likelihood amounting to crimes under worldwide law".

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

"Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar", she told reporters, adding that Facebook had helped the impoverished country but had also been used to spread hate speech. But she remains a heroine for most of her compatriots, who largely consider the Rohingya as unwanted illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

United Nations special rapporteur for human rights Yanghee Lee also submitted a report to the Human Rights Council this week, warning that violence against the Rohingya bore "the hallmarks of genocide," and expressing concerns over "high levels of hate speech and incitement to hostility, discrimination and violence, particularly on social media". "I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended".

Facebook suspends and sometimes removes anyone that "consistently shares content promoting hate", the company said last month in response to a question about Wirathu's account.

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