Election 2020

Family of Police Crackdown’s Victim Urges Rooting Out Dictatorship

By The Irrawaddy 10 February 2021

Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, a 20-year-old student who was shot in the head by a police officer during an anti-coup protest in Naypyitaw on Tuesday, was pronounced brain dead that night. She has been put on life support but has no chance of recovery. She is currently in the intensive care unit at Naypyitaw 1,000-Bed Hospital.

The police shooting of the young protester, the most serious casualty of the protesters in demonstrations against the military coup, has drawn national outrage. Her grieving family talked to the media on Wednesday.

Media: Could you talk about the incident yesterday?

Mya Thadoe Nwe: Police and fire engines moved forward, and told protesters to step backward. We were watching the protest by the road. As police stepped back behind the line, protesters threw stones and water bottles at them. As you saw in the video online, we were hiding for fear that we would be hit. We heard gunshots, but we thought they were just shooting in the air. As we were about to leave, [my sister] was shot. I thought she just fainted from anger. She had said she felt dizzy, and only after her helmet was taken off and blood burst out, did I know that she had been shot. Then people came to help and took her [to the hospital]. I was so worried that I didn’t even know how I got here [hospital].

Media: What is her current situation?

MTN: She only has a 5 percent of chance of recovering.

A poster depicting a blood-soaked Ma Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing hangs from a flyover in Hledan, Yangon, as demonstrators continued their protests on Wednesday. / Zaw Zaw Htwe / The Irrawaddy

Media: How does your family feel about the incident?

MTN: Our hearts are broken. We only have our mother. Our father has already passed away. We have four siblings. I am the eldest, and she is the youngest. My mother can’t stand that this has happened to her youngest daughter. Words fail to express how sad we are.

Media: What do you want to say to other people who are taking to streets?

MTN: We are fighting against the military dictatorship not for the interests of an individual person or party. I want people to know that the military dictatorship affects all the people, the entire nation. And I want this message to be spread to the world. It is not for the interests of individuals. The military dictatorship must be rooted out for the sake of future generations.

Media: What do you plan to do next?

MTN: I will continue to fight against the military dictatorship. To compensate for the suffering of my younger sister, I would like to urge all the people in the nation to continue to fight against the military dictatorship until it is rooted out. Please also make sure the world knows about this. And I would also like to urge the global community to help.

The victim’s sister talks to the media on Wednesday afternoon. (The Irrawaddy)

Media: What is your view of the military shooting on peaceful protesters?

MTN: As you can see in online videos, my sister and I were not on the middle street, and we didn’t cross the line. We hadn’t done anything to them. As we were about to leave, my younger sister [was hit] and just fell down.

Media: What medical treatment will be provided to your sister?

MTN: She was too seriously injured for surgery.

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