Woman shot in the head during Myanmar anti-coup protest dies

Joanna Estrada
February 20, 2021

She had joined a massive rally in Naypyidaw demanding the release and return to power of the country's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But police have fired rubber bullets several times to break up crowds.

At least two people have been killed during fresh protests in Myanmar against a military coup.

One man died of a head wound, according to media workers including Lin Khaing, an assistant editor with the Voice of Myanmar media outlet in the city, and a Mandalay emergency service.

Ko Aung and the doctor said a second man was shot in the chest and died later of his wound.

Police were not available for comment.

Among those arrested are railway workers, civil servants and bank staff who have walked off their jobs as part of a civil disobedience campaign aimed at crippling the army's ability to govern. Opponents of the coup are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

The protests against the coup that overthrew the government of veteran democracy campaigner Suu Kyi have shown no sign of dying down.

Within hours of her shooting, videos and images went viral on social media of the moment Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, wearing a motorcycle helmet and red T-shirt, slumped to the ground with her back turned to the police, who doused crowds with water cannon.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing died on Friday while in intensive care at a hospital in the capital Naypyitaw, where she had been on life support for 10 days since she was shot by police cracking down on demonstrators.

Demonstrators gathered across Yangon Saturday to mourn the death of an anti-coup protester, as Washington urged the leaders of Myanmar's new military regime to refrain from violence and relinquish power.

The army says one policeman died of injuries sustained in a protest.

The woman was in critical condition after the shooting, which took place on February 9 in the capital Naypyitaw.

An official of the medical team that treated her said, "It was most likely a live bullet".

The demonstrators are demanding the restoration of the elected government, the release of Suu Kyi and others and the scrapping of a 2008 constitution, drawn up under military supervision, that gives the army a major role in politics.

The protests in towns and cities throughout the ethnically diverse country have been more peaceful than the bloodily suppressed demonstrations during almost 50 years of direct military rule up to 2011.

The army seized back power after alleging fraud in November 8 elections that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy swept, detaining her and others.

In Myitkyina, baton-wielding police and soldiers sent protesters scattering down a street lined with shops, video on social media showed.

Britain and Canada announced new sanctions on Thursday and Japan said it had agreed with India, the United States and Australia on the need for democracy to be restored quickly.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing was already under sanctions from Western countries following the crackdown on the Rohingya. There is little history of Myanmar's generals, with closer ties to China and to Russian Federation, giving in to Western pressure.

Suu Kyi - who has not been seen since she was detained in a dawn raid - has been hit with two charges, one of them for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies.

Almost 550 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), with 500 still behind bars.

In the days that followed, protesters marched holding aloft pictures of her, with placards calling for an end to dictatorship.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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