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Young woman shot in head by police is 1st confirmed death in Myanmar’s anti-coup protests

Yangon, Myanmar — A younger lady who was shot within the head by police final week throughout a protest in opposition to the navy coup in Myanmar died Friday, her household mentioned. It was the primary confirmed dying amongst hundreds of protesters who’ve confronted off in opposition to safety forces because the junta took energy on February 1, detained the nation’s elected leaders and prevented Parliament from convening.

Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was shot throughout an indication within the capital, Naypyitaw, on February 9, two days earlier than her twentieth birthday. Video confirmed her sheltering from water cannons and abruptly dropping to the bottom after a bullet penetrated the motorbike helmet she was sporting. She had been on life assist in a hospital with what medical doctors mentioned was no probability of restoration.

Her sister, talking from the hospital’s mortuary, urged folks not to surrender their battle to revive democracy.

“Please take part and proceed preventing till we obtain our objective,” mentioned Mya Thatoe Nwe. She mentioned the funeral could be held Sunday.

“Blood on their palms”

Protesters have hailed Mya Thwet Thwet Khine as a hero and commemorated her throughout demonstrations earlier this week. Information of her dying is more likely to inflame passions within the protest motion, which has embraced nonviolent civil disobedience.

A spokesman for the ruling navy didn’t deny that she had been shot by safety forces, however mentioned at a information convention this week that she was in a crowd that had thrown rocks at police and the case was below investigation. There have been no unbiased accounts of her collaborating in any violence.

Human Rights Watch accused the police in Naypyitaw of getting “blood on their palms.”

“The officer who pulled the set off have to be investigated, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the regulation,” mentioned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of the New York-based group. “That is the one appropriate approach to honor the reminiscence of this courageous younger lady.”

Demonstrations continued Friday in Yangon, the nation’s largest metropolis, and elsewhere.

Cracking down out of sight

Safety forces have been comparatively restrained to this point in confronting protesters in Yangon, however seemed to be toughening their stance in areas the place there may be much less media presence.

Police used drive for a second day to arrest protesters in Myitkyina, the capital of the distant northern state of Kachin. The Kachin ethnic minority has lengthy been in battle with the central authorities, and there was intermittent armed battle in opposition to the military there for many years.

On Thursday evening within the southeastern metropolis of Dawei, a number of folks had been wounded by rubber bullets when police staged nighttime raids to attempt to arrest activists, native media reported. Massive however peaceable protest marches have taken place within the metropolis, with negotiations between the demonstrators and the authorities to keep away from confrontations.

Tom Andrews, the unbiased U.N. human rights skilled on Myanmar, informed The Related Press this week that the preliminary restraint of police in coping with “sturdy citizen opposition to the coup” has moved in some cases to make use of of rubber bullets, actual ammunition and water cannons.

Talking from america, he additionally mentioned “hardened” troops had been being deployed from border areas to some cities, elevating the potential for bloodshed and “a tragic lack of life.”

The junta says it took energy — after detaining nationwide chief Aung San Suu Kyi and stopping Parliament from convening — as a result of elections final November had been tainted by voting irregularities. The election final result, during which Suu Kyi’s celebration gained by a landslide, was affirmed by an election fee that has since been changed by the navy. The junta says it’s going to maintain new elections in a yr’s time.

The U.S., Britain and Canadian governments have imposed sanctions on the brand new navy leaders, they usually and different governments have known as for Suu Kyi’s administration to be restored.

The coup was a significant setback to Myanmar’s transition to democracy after 50 years of military rule. Suu Kyi come to energy after her Nationwide League for Democracy celebration gained a 2015 election, however the generals retained substantial energy below the structure, which was adopted below a navy regime.

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