Myanmar college student shot by police dies as coup's 1st victim

Paola Ditto
Febbraio 20, 2021

"Sanctioning military leaders is largely symbolic, but the moves to sanction military companies will be much more effective", said Mr Mark Farmaner, director of the Burma Campaign UK group.

A young protester died Friday, more than a week after being shot in anti-coup demonstrations in Myanmar, offering a fresh source of anger inside the country as worldwide pressure grows on the generals who seized power.

Protesters took to the streets in several cities and towns with members of ethnic minorities, poets, and transport workers among those demanding an end to military rule and the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing became a rallying point for hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in towns and cities across Myanmar when video went viral of her being shot in the head by security forces while protesting against a military coup.

On Friday, the woman's sister told several reporters that "her condition deteriorated around 11 a.m., and she died". "That's all I want to say".

The doctor, who asked to remain anonymous due to safety fears, said Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing's story had given impetus to a civil disobedience movement in Myanmar, which medical personnel have been a central part of.

"I feel really sad and have nothing to say", said her brother Ye Htut Aung.

Security forces have been relatively restrained so far in confronting protesters in Yangon, but appeared to be toughening their stance in areas where there is less media presence.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price offered his government's condolences on Friday and reiterated calls on the military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters.

Military spokesman-turned-deputy information minster Zaw Min Tun confirmed this week that she had been shot, and said authorities will continue to investigate the case.

Canada and Britain imposed sanctions on Myanmar generals even as the U.S. condemned the coup.

Freezing the assets of three top generals, the United Kingdom also said it was beginning a review to stop British businesses working with the military.

The junta has not reacted to the new sanctions.

These actions come after US President Joe Biden last week announced Washington would cut off the generals' access to $1 billion in funds in the US.

Earlier Saturday, in the largest city Yangon, a rally was held in memory of the female student, Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, 20, who was shot in the head while participating in a February 9 demonstration.

The mass protest marked two straight weeks of unrest in the country, but police have ramped up efforts to block the demonstrations. "Go strike! Go strike!"

Almost 550 people have been detained since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing's family are all supporters of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD).

A small group of protesters was forcefully dispersed by police and military wielding batons in the northern city of Myitkyina on Friday, according to witnesses and video posted online.

The Nobel laureate - who has not been seen since she was detained in dawn raids - has been hit with two charges, one of them for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies.

A 15-metre-long banner with artwork depicting the moment she was shot was hung off a bridge in Yangon, while some protesters have carried photos of her as they march.

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