Responding to news of the death of 20-year-old Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing, who was shot in the head while wearing a motorcycle helmet by Myanmar police during protests in Nay Pyi Daw on 9 February, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response, Joanne Mariner, said:
“This is the devastating consequence of the security forces’ reckless use of lethal weapons against peaceful protesters.
“Instead of issuing blanket denials, the Myanmar military authorities should launch a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into her killing and other reports of unnecessary and excessive use of force by the security forces.
“As protests continue to grow, Myanmar security forces must cease carrying and using lethal weapons and must respect people’s right to peacefully express their grievances. It is only a matter of time before the same brutal and abusive policing leads to more death and sorrow.”
The family of Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing confirmed her passing on 19 February 2021.
On 11 February 2021, Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence experts analyzed social media footage of the 9 February protests during which she was shot, confirming the fact she was shot by police as well as identifying a model of Myanmar-made sub-machine gun carried by the police at the protest. Authorities deny that any lethal weapons were present.
The UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials state that security forces must exhaust all non-violent means before employing force as the last resort.