The Myanmar Army Should Face Charges for Genocide, U.N. Investigators Say

Pompeo Decries ‘Abhorrent Ethnic Cleansing' in Myanmar

Some of the most senior members of the Myanmar military should be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya, a United Nations fact-finding mission said on Monday, in a landmark recommendation that personally names officers it says should be investigated.

The report is also critical of Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who they say failed to use her "moral authority" and her power as head of the government to step in.

It raises the remarkable prospect that the Nobel Peace Prize victor could see her own generals put on trial for crimes against humanity.

In Rakhine state, the report also found elements of extermination and deportation "similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocide intent to be established in other contexts".

They should also be investigated and prosecuted for "crimes against humanity and war crimes" against the Rohingya in Rakhine, as well as against other minorities in the northern Kachin and Shan States, the mission said in a report. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, as among those responsible for "a failure to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent and punish crimes, and a causal link between these failures and the atrocities committed".

Facebook's latest removal affects Myanmar.

In its recommendation to the Human Rights Council, the report urged the U.N.to turn the investigation over to the International Criminal Court.

"Specifically, we are banning 20 individuals and organizations from Facebook in Myanmar - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military's Myawady television network".

Facebook's action today comes a week after Reuters published an investigative report that found more than 1,000 posts, comments and images that attacked Rohingya and other Muslim users on the platform.

On the contrary, the civilian authorities have spread false narratives; denied the Tatmadaw's wrongdoing; blocked independent investigations, including of the Fact-Finding Mission; and overseen destruction of evidence.

The list of generals also included Brigadier-General Aung Aung, commander of the 33rd Light Infantry Division, which oversaw operations in the coastal village of Inn Din where 10 Rohingya captive boys and men were killed. Instead, investigators relied on satellite imagery, photographs and videos and "875 in-depth interviews with victims and eyewitnesses".

Why did Facebook remove these accounts? .

One of those commanders, Lt. Gen. Aung Kyaw Zaw, has already been singled out for US sanctions as punishment for the attacks on Rohingya.

But in a trial that has commanded an global spotlight and is widely seen as a litmus test for the civilian government's relationship with the press, the delay was widely perceived to have political motivations, especially as the decision comes on the eve of the U.N. Security Council briefing on Myanmar.

"The result is a continuing situation of severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death", the investigators say.

"The Tatmadaw acts with complete impunity and has never been held accountable", the report states.

The company said after the court announcement that it was disappointed. "The extent to which Facebook posts and messages have led to real-world discrimination and violence must be independently and thoroughly examined", it said.

The social media giant was previously accused by United Nations experts of helping incite violence in Myanmar and failing to take measures to stop the spread of hate and anti-Rohinyga propaganda on its platform.

Facebook was a key outlet in which hate speech was propagated against the Rohingya Muslims, the mission said. The removed pages and accounts had a total of nearly 12 million followers. "While we were too slow to act, we're now making progress - with better technology to identify hate speech, improved reporting tools, and more people to review content".

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