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Myanmar Protester Shot in Head Has Died

It's the first confirmed protester death since coup
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2021 12:10 AM CST

(Newser) – A young woman who was shot in the head by police last week during a protest against the military coup in Myanmar died Friday, her family said. It was the first confirmed death among thousands of protesters who have faced off against security forces since the junta took power on Feb. 1, detained the country's elected leaders, and prevented Parliament from convening, the AP reports. Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was shot during a demonstration in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Feb. 9, two days before her 20th birthday. Video showed her sheltering from water cannons and suddenly dropping to the ground after a bullet penetrated the motorcycle helmet she was wearing. She had been on life support in a hospital with what doctors said was no chance of recovery.

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A spokesman for the ruling military did not deny that she had been shot by security forces, but claimed at a news conference this week that she was in a crowd that had thrown rocks at police and the case was under investigation. There were no independent accounts of her taking part in any violence. Human Rights Watch accused the police in Naypyitaw of having "blood on their hands." "The officer who pulled the trigger must be investigated, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of the New York-based group. "That’s the only suitable way to honor the memory of this brave young woman." Demonstrations continued Friday in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, and elsewhere.

(Read more Myanmar stories.)

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