DC Judge Orders Release of Facebook Anti-Rohingya Account Records

A federal judge in the United States has ordered Facebook to reveal details of accounts linked to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the company had shut down, dismissing the company’s privacy argument as “loaded with irony.”

According to a copy of the ruling, a judge in Washington, DC, chastised Facebook for neglecting to hand over evidence to investigators trying to prosecute Myanmar for international crimes against the Muslim minority Rohingya.

“Facebook taking up the mantle of privacy rights is rich with irony. News sites have entire sections dedicated to Facebook’s sordid history of privacy scandals,” the judge said.

Facebook refused to share the data, citing a US statute prohibiting the disclosure of users’ communications.

A spokesperson for Facebook said it was examining the judgment and had given “voluntary, lawful disclosures” to the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

In August 2017, around 730,000 Rohingya Muslims left Myanmar’s Rakhine state, citing mass deaths and rape. Rights groups documented civilian casualties and village fires.

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