United Nations investigator blames Facebook for spreading hate against Rohingyas

Myanmar forces construct military bases in Rohingya villages

Marzuki Darusman, the chairperson of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said the social media giant played a "determining role" in the alleged genocide in Rakhine state.

But it has drawn criticism for a take-off that has coincided with a rise in ethnically-charged hate speech and violence, particularly in Rakhine state. "As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media".

"Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar", she told reporters, adding that Facebook had helped the impoverished country but had also been used to spread hate speech.

Escalating violence has forced more than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee across the border to Bangladesh, in what the UN's human rights chief has described as a "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

She said accountability for the abuses in Rakhine should be "the focus of the worldwide community's efforts to bring long-lasting peace, stability and democratization to Myanmar". "I am becoming more convinced that crimes committed".

The special rapporteur said she hoped to make official visits to India and China as part of her preparation to report to the General Assembly later this year, and said she remained hopeful the Myanmar government would revisit its decision and grant her access.

Facebook has seen a meteoric rise in Myanmar, a fledgling democracy shaking off 50 years of brutal junta rule.

United States notes Taliban 'interest' in peace talks
The group has insisted it would only negotiate with the United States, which it calls a "foreign occupying force". In return, the militants would have to recognize the Kabul government and respect the rule of law.

The U.N. adviser on preventing genocide says all information he has received indicates the Myanmar government meant to cleanse Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine state and possibly even destroy them "which, if proven, would constitute the crime of genocide".

"This must be aimed at the individuals who gave the orders and carried out violations against individuals and entire ethnic and religious groups", said Lee. 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.

"And I am afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast than what it was originally meant to be used in other parts of the world too", she added.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been the target of global vitriol for a perceived failure to stand up for the stateless minority.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in November to begin repatriating Rohingya who volunteered to return to Rakhine, but the plan has stalled.

Facebook has always been criticised for its role in the Rohingya crisis, an assessment now underscored by comments by United Nations investigators.

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