Myanmar generals had 'genocidal intent' against Rohingya, must face justice

27 August, 2018, 21:43 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Myanmar’s army 'killed Muslim Rohingyas with genocidal intent’

"Myanmar's top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States", the report said.

More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the state for Bangladesh after a security crackdown launched in response to attacks by Rohingya militants.

"The State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has not used her de facto position as Head of Government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events in Rakhine State", the report said.

The report also recommends that United Nations member states urgently establish an International, Independent, Impartial Mechanism - similar to the Syria IIIM - to collect, evaluate, and preserve evidence to assist criminal investigations and prosecutions of atrocity crimes committed in Myanmar, including by third states using their universal jurisdiction laws.

Worldwide pressure on Myanmar has been growing as U.N. -mandated investigators are set to publish a report on the crisis on Monday and the United Nations Security Council will hold a briefing on Myanmar on Tuesday. "The Tatmadaw's tactics are consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats", the report says.

The fact-finding mission went beyond the military's actions in Rakhine and investigated its conduct more broadly since 2011, a time when the world was celebrating the country's opening to the West and nominally democratic transformation.

On August 27, 2018, the UN-mandated Fact-Finding Mission's three experts issued a report documenting Myanmar security forces' abuses against the ethnic Rohingya population, including, but not limited to, murder, rape, and torture, and concluded that they amounted to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

"We are banning 20 Burmese individuals and organisations from Facebook - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces", Facebook said in a statement, adding that it wants to prevent them from using the service to "further inflame ethnic and religious tensions".

Marzuki Darusman, chair of the panel, said commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing should step down pending investigation. "The crimes in Rakhine State, and the manner in which they were perpetrated, are similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocidal intent to be established in other contexts", it said. "Many of these violations undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under global law".

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe held in Iran released temporarily
The campaign thanked "all those involved in making this possible in Tehran and London , and the new foreign secretary". Mr Ratcliffe has previously criticised the British Government for not doing enough to help with his wife's case.

The commander-in-chief of the army said the "clearance operation was defined as completing an unfinished job of solving the long-standing Bengali problem", which the mission say is an example of genocidal intent.

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

Facebook said that among the pages and accounts taken down Monday are some that pretended to provide independent news and opinion while covertly promoting messages of Myanmar's military.

The report also criticized Facebook's response to allegations, including by members of the same United Nations panel in March, that the social media giant had been used to incite violence and hatred against the Rohingyas.

Business Insider also reported that attacks against the Rohingya ramped up in 2016 after a Rohingya insurgent group killed 10 Myanmar police officers in an attack.

The UN report singled out Facebook for its "slow and ineffective" response.

In addition to the bans, Facebook said it had removed 46 pages and 12 accounts for "engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior".

But the group says the people they spoke to in Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh had the same information they would have had if they had been given access to the country.

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