The U.S. condemns the fatal shootings on protesters


Anti-coup protesters hold placards as they protest a military coup on Saturday, February 20, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar.

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The US Embassy in Myanmar issued a statement condemning it on Saturday fatal police shootings two protesters against the coup in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, after weeks of demonstrations.

“No one should be harmed for exercising the right to disagree,” the embassy said in a Twitter post. “We are deeply disturbed by the fatal shooting of protesters in Mandalay, the day after the death of Mya Thwe Thwe Khina in Nay Pyi Taw. The military must stop the violence against the people of Myanmar.”

According to local reports, one of the victims was shot in the head and died on the spot. He was shot once more in the chest and died on the way to the hospital. Relatives identified him as Thet Naing Win, a 36-year-old carpenter, Reuters reports.

The shooting happened near Mandalay port on Yadanabon, where approximately 500 police and soldiers came to the area after port workers joined a protest against a military junta that took power in a February 1 coup.

Security forces used water cannons, tear gas, slingshots and rubber bullets against protesters and struck workers at the dock.

A picture of Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing was shown by anti-coup protesters near the Myaynigone junction on Saturday, February 20, 2021, in Yangon, Myanmar.

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At least five people were injured by rubber bullets and had to be taken away by ambulance, an Associated Press reporter reported from the scene.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the shooting of peaceful protesters in Myanmar: “We will consider further action with our international partners against those who are crushing democracy and stifling dissent,” he said on Twitter.

Two deaths and additional serious injuries occur the day after the death of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, who was shot dead in the capital Naypyitaw on February 9 and spent more than a week supporting her life in hospital. Her death on Friday was the first fatal death among thousands of protesters demanding the restoration of an elected government and the release of lawmakers, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, who were arrested in the coup.

Video from the day she was shot shows her protecting herself from water cannons, when she fell to the ground after a bullet penetrated the motorcycle helmet she was wearing.

The protester was beheaded after security forces beat her during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on February 20, 2021.

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U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed his government’s condolences Friday and reiterated calls for the military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters.

February 10, President Joe Biden imposed sanctions on military leaders in Myanmar which staged a coup that overthrew and detained elected leader Suu Kyi and others. He announced that the government is working to freeze some billion dollars of property within the United States, to which Myanmar’s military leaders have access.

The protester was taken away after security forces detained him during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on February 20, 2021.

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Biden said Myanmar’s “army must relinquish the power it took over” on February 1 and release its prisoners, and called on the army to refrain from using violence, as has been the case so far, against protesters exercising their democratic rights to oppose the coup.

The National Movement for Civil Disobedience showed no signs of slowing down, despite the recent collapse of the military government.

– The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report


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