Aust 'weak' on Myanmar atrocities at UN


Aust 'weak' on Myanmar atrocities at UN

United Nations human rights experts investigating a possible genocide in Rakhine state warned that Facebook's platform is being used by ultra-nationalist Buddhists to incite violence and hatred against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities.

The crackdown, which included indiscriminate killings, rape, torture, and arson, forced almost 700,000 Rohingya to flee across the border to Bangladesh where they live in destitution in sprawling displacement camps.

Facebook "substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissention and conflict, if you will, within the public. As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media", chairman of the fact-finding mission Marzuki Darusman was quoted as saying by the agency.

"We work with local communities and NGOs to increase awareness of our policies and reporting process, and are always looking for ways to improve people's experience on Facebook", the spokesperson said.

While much of the attention of the Rohingya crisis has focused on Rakhine State, where some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled across the border to neighbouring Bangladesh, the research also looked at Kachin and Shan State. Lee said investigators should be based out of Bangladesh and work for three years to "collect, consolidate, map, analyse and maintain evidence of human rights violations and abuses".

A human rights investigator has found that social media played a "determining role" in spreading hate speech against the persecuted minorities in Myanmar. Lee also highlighted concerns about the role of social media in promoting violence against the Rohingya minority.

Lee told the Council on Monday that the brutal crackdown by Myanmar soldiers in northern Rakhine state in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) bore the "hallmarks of genocide".

"Time and time again we see our government getting all mealy-mouthed about global humanitarian emergencies when the country in question has some connection with its own refugee policies", Mr Webb said, adding that about 200 Rohingya people were detained on Nauru and Manus Island.

She interviewed more than 100 refugees in Bangladesh, and they told her awful things: "Parents told me harrowing accounts of witnessing their young children being thrown into fires".

"Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar". Dieng said Myanmar had made "no genuine efforts" to ensure those who returned were guaranteed freedom and safety. Because of that, it's been easy for ultra-nationalists to use the platform to stoke hatred against the Rohingya minority, who have been targeted by government forces, killed by the thousands and driven out of the country.



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