Myanmar's government has rejected two reports presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council that concluded it committed extreme human rights violations, probably amounting to crimes under worldwide law, in its repression of several minority groups.
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee (R) gives her report next to the Chairperson of the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar Marzuki Darusman, during the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 12, 2018.
"Bear the hallmarks of genocide, and call in the strongest terms for accountability", she told the UN Human Rights Council, reported the AFP. "It points at human rights violations of the most serious kind, in all likelihood amounting to crimes under worldwide law".
Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August, crossing into Bangladesh with stories of murder, rape and arson at the hands of soldiers and Buddhist mobs in Rakhine state.
However, few people outside Myanmar accept the government's account of the Rohingya mass exodus, and the issue has tarnished the reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for her decades of opposition to brutal rule by the same military now accused of committing atrocities in Rakhine.
Myanmar's military had also advanced into Mutraw District in Kayin State, an area controlled by the Karen National Union, despite a ceasefire agreement, she said. Investigators have been barred by the government from entering Myanmar, and so have relied on interviews with refugees and others in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand.
United Nations human rights experts investigating a possible genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar on Monday blamed Facebook for spreading hatred against the community.
An interim report issued by Darusman's panel said the Myanmar military has created patterns of human rights violations and violations of worldwide humanitarian law not only in Rakhine state, but also in Shan and Kachin states, where lesser-known conflicts are raging between the government army and ethnic militias.
"It has. substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public". "Hate speech and incitement to violence on social media is rampant, particularly on Facebook".
The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, has strongly criticized the global community for ignoring atrocities committed by Myanmar authorities, accusing them of burying their "head in the sand".
Lee said that Facebook was used as the toll by the state government to disseminate information to the public. Dieng said Myanmar had made "no genuine efforts" to ensure those who returned were guaranteed freedom and safety.
Wirathu, a prominent face of Myanmar's Buddhist ultra-nationalist movement, had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on the network, using it as a platform to attack Muslims, singling out the stateless Rohingya minority.