Myanmar Army chief's Twitter account suspended

Naypyitaw, May 16
Twitter account of Myanmar Army chief Min Aung Hlaing, accused of masterminding genocide against the Muslim Rohingya population, has been suspended following complaints about him using the social media platform for hate speech.

Hlaing had his @sgminaunghlaing account taken offline this week. His Facebook account was taken off in August 2018 after the UN called for Myanmar military leaders' prosecution for genocide.

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The latest move against the Myanmar Army chief, who claims the Army did not use "excessive force" when about 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in 2017, was hailed by prominent Rohingya activist Tun Kinh as a "massive victory" for members of the ethnic group.

Hlaing had used social media to refer to Rohingya people as "Bengali", implying they were immigrants rather than Myanmar citizens.

On Facebook, he denied Army atrocities and claimed the military was targeting militants rather than committing genocide.

The suspension came after Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, met Twitter executives in Silicon Valley last week and asked them why Hlaing's account remained live.

His Twitter account had not been used in about a year, but the suspension was still hailed as a significant gesture.

Tun Kinh said, "The fact that Twitter has joined Facebook in deleting his account, which he used to sow hatred and spew his defensive propaganda, is a massive victory for the Rohingya people."

"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," he said.