Twitter has suspended the account of Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, over allegations of propagating hate speech against the Rohingya community.
Although the general had not been active on the platform for about a year now, the suspension is being deemed as a “massive victory” by the ethnic group, reports The Guardian.
Since August 2017, around 750,000 Rohingya Muslims have entered Bangladesh to escape military atrocities in the Rakhine State of Myanmar and joined 300,000 others who earlier had fled waves of violence and had been living in Cox’s Bazar.
Min Aung Hlaing, the top-ranking general accused of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingyas in the neighbouring country, had his account – sgminaunghlaing -- taken offline this week.
The human rights violations in Rakhine can amount to genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Hlaing earlier lost his Facebook account in August last year over allegation that he was using it to spread anti-Rohingya propaganda. Facebook deleted the account following a call by the United Nations that the Myanmar military must be prosecuted for genocide.
On social media, Hlaing has always refered the Rohingya people as “Bengali”, implying that they were immigrants rather than Myanmar citizens. On Facebook, he denied army atrocities and claimed that the military was targeting militants, not committing genocide.
The latest suspension comes following Rohingya leader Tun Khin’s meet with Twitter executives in Silicon Valley last week. The president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK questioned the executives why Hlaing’s account remained live.
“The fact that Twitter has joined Facebook in deleting his account -- which he used to sow hatred and spew out his defensive propaganda -- is a massive victory for the Rohingya people,” the Guardian quoted Tun Khin.
“Min Aung Hliang was the mastermind of the Rohingya genocide … it is crucial that Twitter now follows through in deleting other accounts used by the regime for the same purpose,” Khin added.