The Gambia wins legal battle against Facebook as court orders Facebook to provide deleted content

The Gambia has won a legal battle against Facebook as a US based court orders the tech giant to provide deleted contents to help the West African country to seek Justice for the Rohingya people considered extremely vulnerable ethnic group which suffered genocide in Myanmar.

Initially Facebook refused to provide the content upon request by the Gambian prosecutors, tagging the request as “extraordinarily broad” and invasive; however, the Magistrate ruled that, “although some of the pages were nominally private, the Myanmar officials intended their reach to be public, and in fact they reached an audience of nearly 12 million follower.”

“Making their accounts and pages private would have defeated their goal of inflaming hate in the widest possible audience.” Part of the ruling said whilst the court added that, “Facebook can act now. It took the first step by deleting the content that fueled a genocide. Yet it has stumbled at the next step, sharing that content…Failing to do so here would compound the tragedy that has befallen the Rohingya.”

Recall that, pages connected to officials of Myanmar were used to post contents that triggered a genocide in the Asian country. These posts portrayed the people of Rohingya as terrorists rendering them targets for attacks, mass murder and various degrees of abuses.

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Many who could not withstand this oppression fled to neighboring countries in search of refuge; at a time when the Rohingya lacked the voice to fight for their rights, The Gambia decided to step in and seek Justice for these people in court against Myanmar.

This decision by The Gambia came as a surprise due to the fact that the people in question have no relation with the west African country. The dominant question was: How does the decision of an Asian country to commit a genocide against a section of its own population concern a west African country?   

The Gambia was not a world power for anyone to say that, stepping in could be a way of displaying some superiority; this was the smallest African country on a mission to save humanity.

Explaining the decision, Abubacarr Tambadou, the country’s attorney general and justice minister at the time told reporters that, “we know too well how it feels like to be unable to tell your story to the world, to be unable to share your pain in the hope that someone out there will hear and help.”

Today, the resilience of The Gambia has brought the people of Rohingya a step closer to justice. The content from Facebook will help the West African country with enough evidence to make a strong case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in Hague.

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