Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Facebook is a "beast" of dissension and conflict

Facebook is a

Yeehang Lee's comments follow the release of images by the human rights group Amnesty International. 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.

On Monday, two UN officials tasked with looking into abuses in Myanmar criticised Facebook as part of a UN Human Rights Council hearing.

More than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state into Bangladesh since insurgent attacks sparked a security crackdown last August.

Kept out of Rakhine, Darusman's team went to Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia to interview more than 600 refugees.

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

The report expressed concern over a spike in reported human rights violations in the region that have resulted in significant displacement of population, further exacerbating a "longstanding humanitarian crisis".

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The United Nation's fact-finding mission in the conflict-ridden Myanmar has blamed social media users, mainly those on Facebook, for spreading hatred against Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmar's envoy Htin Lynn rejected Lee's remarks and called for the council to fire her.

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, and Marzuki Darusman, former attorney-general of Indonesia and chairman of a UN-appointed worldwide fact-finding mission on human rights in Myanmar, on Monday issued damning reports on the violent expulsion of Rohingya, citing hundreds of interviews with victims and eyewitnesses about reported human rights violations along with satellite imagery, photographs, and video footage of events. Myanmar's national security adviser demanded "clear evidence".

The UN's Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar announced the interim findings of its investigation on Monday.

U.N. Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said Facebook was a huge part of public, civil and private life, and the government used it to disseminate information to the public. "Hate speech and incitement to violence on social media is rampant, particularly on Facebook".

Though Myanmar still refuses to allow in the U.N.'s team of investigators, Zaw Htay said Myanmar wants to have good relationship with the global body and to be an active member. 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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