Facebook removes top Myanmar military official, others from website

Facebook is banning 20 Burmese individuals and organisations from Facebook - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Facebook is banning 20 Burmese individuals and organisations from Facebook - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Facebook said on Monday (Aug 27) it was removing certain Myanmar military officials from the social media website and an instagram account to prevent the spread of "hate and misinformation" after reviewing the content.

"Specifically, we are banning 20 Burmese individuals and organisations from Facebook - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military's Myawady television network," Facebook said.

"We're removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by almost 12 million people," Facebook said in a blog post.

The world's largest social media networking site said it had removed 46 Pages and 12 accounts for engaging in coordinated "inauthentic" behaviour on Facebook.

A United Nations human rights panel said on Monday that Min Aung Hlaing should step down following the panel's call for his prosecution on suspicion of "genocidal intent" and grave crimes against Muslim Rohingya.

"The only way forward is to call for his resignation and stepping down immediately," Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, told a Geneva news conference.

He said that the panel, which named Min Aung Hlaing and five other generals in a report, said that its separate confidential list of suspected perpetrators included military officials, auxiliary forces, civilians and insurgents.

 
 

The Myanmar government, which was sent an advance copy of the UN report in line with standard practice, has not commented. Contacted by phone ahead of the news conference, Myanmar military spokesman Major General Tun Tun Nyi said he could not immediately comment on the UN report. Reuters was unable to contact Min Aung Hlaing on Monday.