Lawyers in the Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar have asked a US judge to order Facebook to release data from Myanmar's military and police. Myanmar has been accused of committing genocide against the Rohingya minority, a separate ethnic group.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is currently investigating whether Myanmar is guilty of genocide of the ethnic Muslim minority. The Gambia has filed the lawsuit together with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIS), of which a total of 57 countries are members. The charge is based on the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, which was signed by both Gambia and Myanmar.
Gambia's lawyers now want to compel Facebook to release any documents and communications produced, prepared, posted or published on the Facebook page of Myanmar military officials and police officers. Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, is one of the officials whose lawyers would like to view Facebook data.
Facebook confirmed to Reuters news agency that it was aware of the Gambia's request and said it was assessing whether the request complies with applicable law.
In 2018, human rights researchers at the United Nations said Facebook played a key role in spreading hate speech that fueled violence in Myanmar. Facebook said at the time that the company is working to block such statements.