Open Letter to Twitter @Jack Regarding Holidays in Myanmar and the Rohingya Genocide
Date: 9th December 2018
In just the past two years, over 700,000 people of the Rohingya minority ethnicity were forced to flee their homes to take refuge in Bangladesh, where there are now 1 million Rohingya refugees living in extremely difficult conditions in the largest refugee camp in the world. These people had their homes set on fire, their women and girls raped, and many of their family members, including children, brutally killed in front of them. Some of them were hacked with machetes, some were shot, and some were thrown alive on to fires. These atrocities were committed by the Myanmar military and other authorities, with the support and participation of members of the public, and their actions were condoned by the Myanmar government including the now disgraced Nobel peace prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. Ethnic cleansing is not confined to the Rohingya Muslims but Christians are being persecuted too, including attacks against the Karen, Kachin, Chin, Karenni, Lahu and Naga minorities.
Many independent human rights organisations have gathered evidence and conducted extensive interviews with survivors, concluding that this is a genocide. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum says they have found ‘compelling evidence’ of genocide. The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar have called for the investigation and prosecution for Myanmar’s top military generals, including General Min Aung Hlaing who is active on Twitter, for genocide. Just this month, the Public International Law & Policy Group released a report following interviews with 1,024 refugees and have also concluded that genocide against the Rohingya took place in Myanmar on a large scale, that it was particularly brutal and ferocious, and that it was planned and coordinated by higher authorities.
The word genocide is not used lightly by any of these reputable organisations. What has happened to the Rohingya, and is still ongoing, has been decades of persecution to eliminate the Rohingya from their homeland, and more recently unimaginable acts of cruelty on a massive scale.
We are questioning how it could be that you as the CEO and founder of Twitter could be so unaware regarding the recent events that have taken place in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, that have been consistently campaigned against over Twitter since 2012, that you could think nothing of taking a holiday there and encouraging other people to do the same? It is this attitude of turning a blind eye and doing ‘business as usual’ that has allowed this genocide to unfold to such a scale and allows it to continue even today.
We call on you now to thoroughly research the genocide of the Rohingya and to issue a public statement of concern. We ask you to call on Myanmar to restore the citizenship that was stolen from the Rohingya in 1982 and to return their full rights as equal citizens of Myanmar. This should include the closure of all concentration camps in Myanmar, the return of their homes and land, the unimpeded access to healthcare and education, and the ability to work and travel freely within their country, without denial of their Rohingya identity.
We also ask you to learn from the mistakes that Mark Zuckerberg made in allowing Facebook to be used as a tool to incite hatred in the Rohingya genocide. We call on Twitter to do much better.
We look forward to your response on this grave matter.
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