Myanmar court postpones verdict for Reuters journalists


The ban included two pages dedicated to the army's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, that have been the military's primary outlet for information, especially around the crisis in the western state of Rakhine past year.

Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone were probing the September 2017 massacre of 10 Rohingya men and boys in Myanmar's Rakhine state a week after the military launched a sweeping crackdown on members of the stateless Muslim minority.

The report is fiercely critical of the Myanmar government, led by Nobel Peace Prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi, stating it "contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes", and Mrs Suu Kyi did not use her position to stem or prevent the crimes against the Rohingya. The civilian government, the report said, failed to speak out against unfolding events, spread "false narratives, oversaw the destruction of evidence in Rakhine state and blocked independent investigations".

While acknowledging that the civilian authorities had little influence on military actions, it said they "through their acts and omissions. have contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes".

The U.N. Security Council should ensure all perpetrators are held to account, preferably by referring Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or by creating an ad hoc tribunal, the investigators said.

The U.N. report said the military action, which included the scorching of villages, was "grossly disproportionate to actual security threats".

Myanmar's government refused to cooperate with the investigation and has denied allegations of widespread violence - dismissing the reported clashes as attempted uprisings from Muslim militants.

In Rakhine state, the report also found elements of extermination and deportation "similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocide intent to be established in other contexts".

The Tatmawdaw, Myanmar's military, also systematically attacked civilians in other parts of Myanmar, including in Kachin and Shan states, the United Nations investigators said.

Muslims congregate for Eid prayers as Zilhaj concludes
According to him, the meat or blood of the sacrificed ram can not reach but Allah is only concern about the piety of a believer. Palestinians pray on the first day of Eid al-Adha at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's old city, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018.

The council created the mission in March a year ago - almost six months before a string of deadly rebel attacks on security and police posts set off a crackdown that drove Rohingya to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.

The two reporters had been investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya by soldiers, police and Buddhist civilians.

Reuters expressed disappointment that the verdict was not delivered as scheduled. She then named six generals the team has flagged for a criminal inquiry to prioritize, starting with Military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Global experts, most recently in a report by the UN Human Rights Council-authorized Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, have found evidence that many of these individuals and organizations committed or enabled serious human rights abuses in the country.

They said the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law. Until the day the United Nations and the ICC (International Criminal Court) will present Min Aung Hlaing (Myanmar Military's Commander in Chief) in court and punish him, we are not going to believe any statement.

The report said the situation was a "catastrophe looming for decades", and an inevitable result of "severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death".

The UN report singled out Facebook for its "slow and ineffective" response.

"We are banning 20 Burmese individuals and organizations from Facebook - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces", the platform said, adding that it wants to prevent them from using the service to "further inflame ethnic and religious tensions".

The accounts were followed by a total of nearly 12 million people, Facebook said, adding that data had been preserved.