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Facebook bans Min Aung Hlaing, army top brass after United Nations genocide allegations

Facebook bans Min Aung Hlaing, army top brass after United Nations genocide allegations

The three-member "fact-finding mission" compiled more than 875 accounts by displaced Rohingya, satellite footage, videos, photographs, and forensic experts to assemble the report.

The army tactics have been "consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats", it said.

The four other generals the United Nations panel said should be prosecuted were named as the army deputy commander-in-chief, Vice Senior-General Soe Win; the commander of the Bureau of Special Operations-3, Lieutenant-General Aung Kyaw Zaw; the commander of Western Regional Military Command, Major-General Maung Maung Soe; and the commander of 99th Light Infantry Division, Brigadier-General Than Oo.

The case has sparked fears of eroding press freedoms under civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose worldwide reputation has been tarnished by the treatment of the Rohingya.

They called on the UN Security Council to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC), or for the creation of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal.

Panel member Christopher Sidoti said "the clarity of the chain of command in Myanmar" meant the six generals must be prosecuted, even in the absence of a "smoking gun" piece of evidence to prove who had ordered the crimes.

The report details accounts of gang rape, villages being burned to the ground, people being forced into slavery and children being killed in front of their parents.

Investigators, working under a mandate from the UN-backed Human Rights Council, called for an global investigation, for the Security Council to impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the entire country.

It began before the military started a large scale military operation in Rakhine in August 2017, after deadly attacks by Rohingya militants. The UN estimates that more than 700,000 have fled.

Decades of state-sponsored stigmatization against Rohingya had resulted in "institutionalized oppression from birth to death", the report said.

The crimes documented in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine include murder, imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual slavery, persecution and enslavement that "undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under global law". It concluded that what took place in the country's Rakhine state is similar to conduct found to constitute "genocidal intent" in other places.

The UN mission listed a number of senior army officials who it said bear the greatest responsibility.

Darusman said a wider confidential list of suspects included civilians and insurgents as well as members of the military.

The statement says Facebook is acting on a recent report by the UNHRC's Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar that found the Facebook accounts and pages of these individuals and organizations to have directly or indirectly contributed to human rights abuses.

It extended culpability for the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state to Myanmar's civilian government, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Hindustan Times, owned by HT Media Ltd, is one of India's largest publications that provides unbiased news, analysis and features on politics, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and more.

Myanmar's military has repeatedly denied that it has deliberately attacked unarmed Rohingya. Then, in August 2017, ARSA launched coordinated attacks on security force outposts, killing 12 security personnel, the United Nations investigators say.

Across the border in Myanmar, the government said security patrols had been increased in the conflict area ahead of the anniversary for fear of further violence.

A Myanmar court postponed ruling Monday (Aug 27) on whether two Reuters journalists violated a state secrets law while reporting on the Rohingya crisis, with a new date set for next week.