Myanmar military chief banned from Russian social media platform VK

Photo: VK / Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
Photo: VK / Senior General Min Aung Hlaing

Three weeks after Myanmar’s military chief was banned from Facebook over his role in the genocide against the Rohingya in Rakhine State, he has also been banned from the Russian social media platform VKontakte “due to a violation of the VK terms of service”.

The Facebook account of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was among dozens that were removed from the platform on Aug. 27 over their links to the “spread of hate and misinformation”. That same day, UN investigators accused him and other military leaders of genocide against the Rohingya and war crimes and crimes against humanity against other ethnic minority groups in Shan and Kachin states.

The senior general quickly tried to salvage his place on the platform by creating another account, but it was also removed hours later, prompting him to seek refuge on other platforms. The day after the Facebook ban, his Twitter activity jumped to three times its previous average.

He also opened an account on VK, which attracted around 37,000 followers before it was deleted on Saturday.

That same day, a new VK account appeared and now has nearly 5,000 followers. It links to his personal website, which, in turn, links to both his VK and Twitter accounts.

Earlier this month, the International Criminal Court ruled that it has jurisdiction to prosecute the senior general and other military leaders over the mass deportation of Rohingya into Bangladesh, which is a crime against humanity.

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