20-year-old Mya Thweh Thweh Khine, who was shot in the head last week during protests against the Myanmar military coup died on Friday.
She is the first known casualty of pro-democracy protests that have been going on since the military’s seizure of power on February 1. She had been in critical condition since February 9, when she was shot at a protest in Naypyitaw.
Video of the incident circulated online showed a young woman suddenly falling to the ground while taking cover from water cannon at a protest.
Earlier, Amnesty International had analyzed images and footage from that week and said they showed a police officer holding a locally made variant of an Uzi sub-machine gun.
“The serious injuries sustained by this young woman were caused by the Myanmar police firing live ammunition directly towards peaceful protesters,” the head of Amnesty’s crisis evidence lab Sam Dubberley said.
Meanwhile, in a February 10 Facebook post, Myanmar’s military wrote it only used anti-riot weapons at the protest near the Thabyegone Roundabout and was investigating reports two protesters had been injured.
Mya Thweh Thweh Khine’s death has sparked calls for an investigation into the use of force by Myanmar’s security forces.
Mya Thweh Thweh Khine has become a symbol of the protests, which have intensified over the past two weeks. Illustrations of her image were seen on signs and banners as protesters called for the military to hand back power to civilian control and for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected officials.
The coup has been condemned globally. The UK and Canada on Thursday imposed sanctions on three generals from Myanmar’s junta.
US President Joe Biden last week announced the United States will sanction Myanmar’s military leaders following the coup.
Biden also called on the military junta to release detained protesters and civilian leaders, including Suu Kyi and Win Myint, and cease their crackdowns on demonstrators.