United Nations investigators on Myanmar put Facebook in crosshairs

United Nations investigators on Myanmar put Facebook in crosshairs

Since August 2017, the Buddhist-majority nation has reportedly driven almost 700,000 members of the besieged community into neighboring Bangladesh, as part of a wildly indiscriminate military crackdown the worldwide community has called ethnic cleansing.

A report by Amnesty International includes satellite photographs of the military development, which is proceeding despite promises by the government that Rohingya Muslims displaced since last August will be allowed to return home to Burma, also known as Myanmar.

The report uses satellite images that reveal the rapid increase in military infrastructure being built on top of flattened villages.

A harsh security response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on August 25 sent members of the mostly stateless minority fleeing to Bangladesh and saw more than 350 villages destroyed by fire in western Myanmar's Rakhine state.

In Rakhine state, Myanmar appeared to be pursuing a policy of forced starvation to make life unsustainable for the Rohingya, Lee said.

Similar building activity was also detected in Inn Din village, where Myanmar has admitted that its security forces took part in the killings of 10 Rohingya residents in September.

The largest of the new bases is in the village of Ah Lel Chaung in Buthidaung Township, where eyewitnesses said that the military forcibly evicted Rohingya people from certain areas to make way for construction.

"Before repatriation can be really considered, Myanmar must break the cycle of violence in Rakhine, recognize the Rohingyas' right to self-identify, restore their citizenship, and uphold their human rights", Lee said.

Lee, who was informed late a year ago that her access to the country was denied, also expressed serious concern that "the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more" in Myanmar, describing the situation faced by civil society across the country as "increasingly perilous".

About 700,000 Rohingya - a mostly Muslim minority - have since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, joining refugees from previous waves of violence.

"We are going to build new villages and new homes and resettle people there according to the village planning", he added. "The Government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable".

"I am becoming more convinced that crimes committed. bear the hallmarks of genocide, and call in the strongest terms for accountability", she told the UN Human Rights Council.

In a report published last December, the humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence.

"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.

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