US court forces Facebook to post tapes of anti-Rohingya content – report


A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken on January 6, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

September 23 (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge ordered Facebook (FB.O) to release the tapes of accounts related to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Washington, DC judge slammed Facebook for failing to pass information to investigators seeking to prosecute the country for international crimes against the Rohingya Muslim minority, the outlet said.

Facebook had refused to disclose the data, claiming it would violate a US law prohibiting electronic communications services from disclosing user communications.

But the judge said the posts, which were deleted, would not be covered by the law, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Reuters could not immediately access details of the decision and Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Gambia is seeking the records in a case against Myanmar which it is pursuing before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing Myanmar of having violated the United Nations Convention on Genocide of 1948.

The Burmese authorities say they are fighting an insurgency and deny having committed systematic atrocities.

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017 after a military crackdown which refugees say includes massacres and rapes.

Rights groups have documented killings of civilians and the burning of villages.

Shannon Raj Singh, human rights lawyer at Twitter (TWTR.N), called the decision “momentous.”

In a Twitter post, she said it was “one of the prime examples of the relevance of social media to modern atrocity prevention and response.”

Reporting by Poppy Elena McPherson; Editing by Martin Petty

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