The female protester who was shot in the head during a demonstration against the military coup in Myanmar has died, relatives said.
The Feb. 9 shooting of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, 20, was captured on video as the woman was protesting the ouster of Myanmar’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in the southeast Asian nation’s capital, Naypyitaw.
Khine was seen falling to the ground after a bullet pierced the motorcycle helmet she was wearing as protesters hurled rocks at police who sprayed water at the crowd before firing live rounds.
A doctor at a hospital in Naypyitaw told Human Rights Watch following the shooting that Khine had lost significant brain function and was listed in critical condition. Her family told the Associated Press she died Friday — reportedly marking the first confirmed fatality of the thousands of people protesting the military takeover.
“Please participate and continue fighting until we achieve our goal,” Khine’s sister, Mya Thatoe Nwe, told the Associated Press.
Khine’s funeral will be held Sunday, her sister said.
In a statement issued early Friday, Human Rights Watch officials said Naypyitaw police have “blood on their hands” and called for the officer who shot Khine to be held accountable.
“Everyone saw the video as she turned away from the police line, hands empty and looking towards her sister standing next to her, and then the sound of the gunshot and watching her crumple to the ground,” said Phil Robertson, HRW’s deputy Asia director. “This police killing is outrageous and unacceptable, there are just no other words for it.”
Prosecuting the officer who shot Khine is the “only suitable way to honor the memory of this brave young woman,” Robertson said.
President Joe Biden announced last week he was slapping sanctions against Myanmar, also known as Burma.
A day later, the Biden administration named top military commander Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy Soe Win, as well as four members of the State Administration Council, as the targets of an executive order to prevent the generals from accessing more than $1 billion in government funds held in the United States.
“Today’s sanction need not be permanent,” the White House said in a Feb. 11 statement. “Burma’s military should immediately restore power to the democratically elected government, end the state of emergency, release all those unjustly detained, and ensure peaceful protestors are not met with violence.”
Demonstrations are reportedly continuing Friday in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, and elsewhere throughout the country. Khine’s death may further stoke protesters, who have embraced nonviolent demonstrations thus far.
With Post wires