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

20 Février, 2021, 15:23 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Demonstrators protest the death of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing in Mandalay last week

Protesters attend a memorial in Yangon on Saturday for Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a young protester who died after being shot in the head in Nay Pyi Taw when police tried to disperse an anti-coup protest.

Two people were killed in Myanmar's second city Mandalay on Saturday when police fired to disperse protesting opponents of a February 1 military coup, emergency workers said.

One of the victims was shot in the head and died at the scene, according to Frontier Myanmar, a news and business magazine based in Yangon, the country's largest city.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who turned 20 last Thursday as she lay unconscious in a hospital bed, was shot in the head. The shootings occurred near Mandalay's Yadanabon dock, where tear gas and rubber bullets were used on protesters earlier in the day.

Police denied using lethal force.

As well as the protests, a civil disobedience campaign has paralysed much of government business and global pressure is building on the military.

But by Saturday, the military's information team released a video of the soldier, sergeant clerk Than Lwin, sitting straight-backed against a wall, claiming he was drunk when he joined the protesters.

She is one of two reported deaths associated with the protest movement, the other a policeman who the military said died of injuries sustained on Monday.

The EU also "reiterates its call on Myanmar's security forces to refrain from violence against demonstrators protesting against the overthrow of their legitimate government", she added.

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Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing has become a symbol of resistance for the demonstrators who have been demanding a return to democracy after the military coup on February 1 which led to the arrest of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Across the country, protests showed no signs of slowing down despite recent crackdowns by the military government - including a sixth consecutive night in which the internet was cut for many hours. "We will fight for democracy".

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

There have also been isolated reports of members of the security forces taking part in nationwide protests. The Kachin ethnic minority has always been in conflict with the central government, and there has been intermittent armed struggle against the army there for decades.

The junta seized power after detaining Suu Kyi and preventing Parliament from convening, saying elections in November were tainted by voting irregularities.

The military allege the NLD's landslide election win previous year was fraudulent but have not provided proof. Demonstrators are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

The United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have announced limited sanctions, with a focus on military leaders. They have also called for the scrapping of a 2008 constitution that has assured the army a major role in politics since almost 50 years of direct military rule ended in 2011.

Suu Kyi come to power after her National League for Democracy party won a 2015 election, but the generals retained substantial power under the constitution, which was adopted under a military regime.

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