Burmese military chiefs must face genocide charges, says UN

It determined that the civilian authorities were not in a position to control the military, but nonetheless contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes through their acts and omissions.

The investigation team, comprising Indonesia's former Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman and human-rights specialists from Sri Lanka and Australia, named six military figures as priority targets for prosecution, led by Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the army's commander and widely viewed as a potential candidate for president.

The investigators named Min Aung Hlaing and five other top military commanders, adding that a longer list of names could be shared with "any competent and credible body pursuing accountability in line with worldwide norms and standards".

The report also criticized Facebook for allowing the world's biggest social media network to be used to incite violence and hatred.

Contacted by phone, Myanmar military spokesman Major General Tun Tun Nyi said he could not immediately comment.

The massacre was uncovered by two Reuters journalists - Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 - who were arrested as a result last December and are being tried on charges of violating the country's Official Secrets Act.

The report also denounces the country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to use her authority as a heroine of the struggle for democracy and the country's de facto leader to stop the brutal campaign of arson, rape and murder, which forced 700,000 Rohingya civilians out of their homes in Rakhine state and into neighbouring Bangladesh.

"The verdict will be announced on Sep 3", said district judge Khin Maung Maung in a swift hearing at a courthouse in Yangon, adding that the presiding judge was sick.

The Security Council should "adopt targeted individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against those who appear most responsible for serious crimes under global law" and impose an arms embargo on Myanmar, they said. But it has admitted that the killing of 10 men and boys investigated by Reuters in the village of Inn Din took place and sentenced seven soldiers for the crime.

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The 20-page report consisting of its main findings was based on 847 interviews, satellite imagery, authenticated documents, photographs, and video, and covered serious abuses in Rakhine, Shan, and Kachin States from 2011 to the present.

The Tatmadaw regularly uses its official Facebook pages to discredit allegations of the crimes it has committed in Rahkine and to stir up fears about the Rohingya, who they often referred to as "Bengali terrorists" or "Bengali illegal immigrants". "The U.S. will continue to hold those responsible accountable".

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".

UN leaders, foreign government officials, and human rights watchers have for months cited evidence of genocide in Myanmar, and the United States late a year ago said that "ethnic cleansing" was occurring in Myanmar. In the same post, Facebook said the move was meant to prevent inflammatory posts from these accounts.

As the United Nations released a report Monday calling for six Myanmar military leaders to be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya Muslims, Canada's special envoy to the country believes the federal government has a "significant opportunity" to help resolve the conflict.

The U.N. Human Rights Council released a report Monday, calling for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar's top military leaders.

In 2008, a United Nations court sentenced former army colonel Theoneste Bagosora, accused of masterminding the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994, to life in prison on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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