Myanmar Protesters Join ‘Silent Strike’ After Soldiers Kill 7-Year-Old Girl In Her Father’s Arms

Myanmar’s security forces shot dead a 7-year-old girl in the city of Mandalay on Tuesday, the youngest victim yet in the military’s bloody crackdown on civilian opposition to the February 1 coup.

The young girl was killed in her home during a military raid, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and Reuters news agency.

Citing relatives, local news outlet Myanmar Now reported the girl, named Khin Myo Chit, was shot while sitting in her father’s lap after security forces kicked down the door to the family’s home. Soldiers asked the father if everyone in the family was present in the house — when the father said yes, they accused him of lying and shot at him, hitting the girl instead, Myanmar Now reported, quoting the victim’s older sister.
The ruthless killing of a child in her father’s arms fits a pattern of abuse and indiscriminate use of deadly violence from Myanmar’s security forces that has targeted not only unarmed protesters and opponents to the coup, but bystanders, civilians in their homes, and children.
Myanmar was thrown into turmoil when the military, headed by coup-leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, seized power last month, overturning a democratic election, detaining civilian leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and establishing a ruling military junta.
Anti-coup protests and strikes have since gripped the nation but are being violently suppressed by the junta’s police forces and military soldiers, with widespread reports of shootings, enforced disappearances and torture of political prisoners.
Myanmar’s military is killing peaceful protesters. Here’s what you need to know
Myanmar’s military is killing peaceful protesters. Here’s what you need to know
Despite the dangers, tens of thousands of people across the country continue to protest and take part in a civil disobedience movement. On Wednesday, protesters have called for a “silent strike” with businesses and shops set to close and people to stay in their homes, with the aim of shutting down entire towns and cities.
Photos from local media showed empty streets and deserted roads throughout the country Wednesday morning.
At least 275 people have been killed since the coup, according to AAPP, though activists say the death toll is likely much higher. More than 20 of those deaths are children, humanitarian organization Save the Children said.
“We are horrified that children continue to be among the targets of these fatal attacks on peaceful protestors. The death of these children is especially concerning given that they reportedly were killed while being at home, where they should have been safe from harm,” Save the Children said in a statement Tuesday. “The fact that so many children are being killed on an almost daily basis shows a complete disregard for human life by security forces.”
Terrified and uncertain, these families crossed mountains to escape Myanmar’s deadly junta
Terrified and uncertain, these families crossed mountains to escape Myanmar’s deadly junta
It follows the death of a 15-year-old boy on Monday, also in Mandalay, according to Reuters and local news reports. The boy, who was a Grade-8 student, was one of three people shot dead in the city that day, AAPP reported.
“The fallen child was shot when he strayed out of the house to fill the up water in front of the house,” AAPP said.
Myanmar’s military has not yet officially commented on the death of the 7-year-old girl but has repeatedly defended security forces’ response to the protesters, saying they use minimal force.
On Tuesday, military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said in a televised news conference he felt “sorry” for citizens’ loss of life but blamed protesters for unrest and destruction of property.
Protesters hold signs featuring civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon on February 22.
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Protesters gather for a demonstration on February 22.
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A man is carried after police dispersed protesters in Mandalay on February 20.
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A police truck uses a water cannon to disperse protesters in Mandalay on February 20.
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A police officer aims a gun toward protesters during a demonstration in Mandalay on February 20.
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A protester holds a Suu Kyi poster as he sits in front of police in Yangon on February 19.
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Protesters flash the three-fingered salute during a rally in downtown Yangon on February 19.
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Flower tributes and sympathy messages are left in Yangon for <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/asia/myanmar-protester-shot-dies-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”>Mya Thweh Thweh Khine.</a> The 20-year-old was shot in the head at a protest in Naypyidaw, and she died on February 19.
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Protesters block a major road during a demonstration in Yangon on February 17.
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Demonstrators block a Yangon bridge with their cars on February 17.
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Buddhist monks march during an anti-coup protest in Yangon on February 16.
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A Suu Kyi banner is displayed during demonstrations in Yangon on February 15.
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Soldiers carry barricades in Yangon on February 15.
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Elected members of Parliament wave to protesters in Yangon as police surround the headquarters of Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, on February 15.
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Medics clear the way as an injured protester is carried away for treatment in Mandalay, Myanmar, on February 15.
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People gather around an armored vehicle in Yangon on February 14.
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Young people in Yangon take part in an anti-coup hip-hop performance on February 14.
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Protesters demonstrate in Yangon on February 14.
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A child runs alongside an armored vehicle in Yangon on February 14.
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Protesters march through the city of Shwebo on February 13.
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Members of the Myanmar Photographers Association hold up their cameras as they call for Suu Kyi’s release on February 13.
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Police detain a protester during a demonstration in Mawlamyine on February 12.
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Farmers ride a tractor with a Suu Kyi poster during a demonstration in Thongwa on February 12.
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A protester dressed as Lady Justice makes a three-finger salute as she takes part in a demonstration in Yangon on February 11.
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Protesters demonstrate in Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on February 11.
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Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country’s military leader, makes a televised statement on February 11. He announced that<a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/12/asia/myanmar-prisoner-release-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”> more than 23,000 prisoners were set to be granted amnesty and released that day.</a> It was unclear what offenses the prisoners were convicted of.
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Bodybuilders take part in a protest in Yangon on February 11.
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People hold up letters that spell “get out dictators” during a demonstration at Inle Lake on February 11.
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A protester carries a child during a march in Yangon on February 10.
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Women in wedding gowns holds up anti-coup placards in Yangon on February 10.
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A police officer aims a gun during clashes with protesters in the capital of Naypyidaw on February 9.
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A protester pleads for police to refrain from using tear gas against demonstrators in Yangon on February 9.
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Police fire water cannons at protesters in Naypyidaw on February 9.
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Protesters gather in Yangon on February 8.
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Protesters flash three-fingered salutes as they face rows of riot police in Naypyidaw on February 8.
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Hospital workers show three-finger salutes during a demonstration in Yangon on February 7.
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A rally takes place in Yangon on February 7.
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Protesters shout slogans in Yangon on February 7.
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Protesters give roses to riot police in Yangon on February 6.
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Yangon residents bang objects to show support for Suu Kyi and her party on February 5.
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Soldiers block a road near Myanmar’s Parliament on February 2, a day after the coup.
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The mother of Aung Kaung Htet wails during the teenage boy’s funeral on Sunday, March 21. Aung, 15, was killed when military junta forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in Yangon, Myanmar.
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Unidentified people cross the Tiau River at the India-Myanmar border on Saturday, March 20. Some people from Myanmar <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/11/asia/myanmar-india-mizoram-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”>have sought refuge in India</a> since the protests began.
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An anti-coup protester jumps over a makeshift barricade in Yangon on Friday, March 19.
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Protesters take positions on Yangon’s Bayint Naung Bridge on Wednesday, March 17. The bridge was blocked with an improvised barricade to prevent security forces from crossing.
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Medical students hold up the <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/world/asia/thailand-hunger-games-salute/index.html” target=”_blank”>three-finger salute</a> at the Yangon funeral of Khant Nyar Hein on Tuesday, March 16. The first-year medical student was fatally shot during the crackdown.
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Protesters test Molotov cocktails in Yangon on March 16.
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Protesters stand near burning tires in Yangon on March 16.
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Anti-coup protesters pray in Yangon on March 14.
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Emergency workers transport the body of Shel Ye Win, who was shot by security forces in Mandalay, Myanmar.
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Smoke billows from the industrial zone of the Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon on March 14. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar said several <a href=”https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/15/asia/myanmar-deaths-chinese-factories-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”>Chinese-funded factories were set ablaze</a> during protests. Demonstrators have accused Beijing of supporting the coup and junta.
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A member of Myanmar’s police is seen firing a weapon toward protesters in Yangon on March 13.
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People lay flowers and light candles beside bloodied pavement where protester Chit Min Thu was killed in Yangon.
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Military trucks are seen near a burning barricade in Yangon that was erected by protesters and then set on fire by soldiers on March 10.
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A protester holds a homemade shield during an anti-coup demonstration in Yangon on March 9.
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A protester discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas that was fired by police in Yangon on March 8.
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Protesters string up longyi, traditional clothing worn in Myanmar, during a demonstration in Yangon on March 7.
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The wife of Phoe Chit, a protester who died during a demonstration, cries over her husband’s coffin during his funeral in Yangon on March 5.
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Protesters step on portraits of Myanmar’s armed forces chief, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, during a demonstration in Yangon on March 5.
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People cry in Yangon on March 4, near a spot where a family member was killed while protesting.
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Protesters lie on the ground after police opened fire to disperse an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.
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Schoolteachers wear traditional hats while participating in an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.
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A soldier stands next to a detained man during a demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.
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Anti-coup protesters run in Yangon on March 3. One of them discharged a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas fired by police.
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An anti-coup protester writes vital emergency information of another protester on his arm in Yangon.
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Police run toward protesters to disperse a demonstration in Yangon on March 3.
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A citizen of Myanmar living in India burns a poster of Myanmar’s military chief during a protest in New Delhi on March 3.
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Medics help supply oxygen to a protester who was exposed to tear gas in Yangon on March 3.
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Protesters flee after tear gas was fired during a demonstration in Yangon on March 1.
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Protesters smoke behind shields during a demonstration in Yangon on March 1.
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Protesters in Yangon run away from tear gas on March 1.
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People in Yangon take part in a ceremony on February 28 to remember those who have been killed during demonstrations.
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Soldiers patrol during a protest in Yangon on February 28.
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Protesters take cover as they clash with police in Yangon on February 28.
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Protesters erect barricades during a demonstration in Yangon on February 28.
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Police charge at anti-coup protesters in Yangon on February 27.
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An injured protester receives medical attention in Mandalay after police and military forces cracked down on protests on February 26.
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Factory workers hold placards and shout slogans as they hold an anti-coup protest in Yangon on February 25.
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Anti-coup protesters shout slogans in Yangon on February 25.
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A police officer films protesters near the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon on February 24.
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Thida Hnin cries during the funeral of her husband, Thet Naing Win, in Mandalay on February 23. He and another protester <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/20/asia/myanmar-police-protestors-reports-shooting-intl/index.html” target=”_blank”>were fatally shot by security forces</a> during an anti-coup protest.
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Police stand guard near the US Embassy in Yangon as protesters take part in an anti-coup demonstration on February 22.
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Protesters hold signs featuring civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon on February 22.
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Protesters gather for a demonstration on February 22.
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A man is carried after police dispersed protesters in Mandalay on February 20.
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A police truck uses a water cannon to disperse protesters in Mandalay on February 20.
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A police officer aims a gun toward protesters during a demonstration in Mandalay on February 20.
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A protester holds a Suu Kyi poster as he sits in front of police in Yangon on February 19.
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Protesters flash the three-fingered salute during a rally in downtown Yangon on February 19.
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Flower tributes and sympathy messages are left in Yangon for <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/asia/myanmar-protester-shot-dies-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”>Mya Thweh Thweh Khine.</a> The 20-year-old was shot in the head at a protest in Naypyidaw, and she died on February 19.
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Protesters block a major road during a demonstration in Yangon on February 17.
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Demonstrators block a Yangon bridge with their cars on February 17.
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Buddhist monks march during an anti-coup protest in Yangon on February 16.
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A Suu Kyi banner is displayed during demonstrations in Yangon on February 15.
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Soldiers carry barricades in Yangon on February 15.
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Elected members of Parliament wave to protesters in Yangon as police surround the headquarters of Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, on February 15.
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Medics clear the way as an injured protester is carried away for treatment in Mandalay, Myanmar, on February 15.
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People gather around an armored vehicle in Yangon on February 14.
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Young people in Yangon take part in an anti-coup hip-hop performance on February 14.
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Protesters demonstrate in Yangon on February 14.
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A child runs alongside an armored vehicle in Yangon on February 14.
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Protesters march through the city of Shwebo on February 13.
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Members of the Myanmar Photographers Association hold up their cameras as they call for Suu Kyi’s release on February 13.
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Police detain a protester during a demonstration in Mawlamyine on February 12.
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Farmers ride a tractor with a Suu Kyi poster during a demonstration in Thongwa on February 12.
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A protester dressed as Lady Justice makes a three-finger salute as she takes part in a demonstration in Yangon on February 11.
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Protesters demonstrate in Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on February 11.
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Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country’s military leader, makes a televised statement on February 11. He announced that<a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/12/asia/myanmar-prisoner-release-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”> more than 23,000 prisoners were set to be granted amnesty and released that day.</a> It was unclear what offenses the prisoners were convicted of.
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Bodybuilders take part in a protest in Yangon on February 11.
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People hold up letters that spell “get out dictators” during a demonstration at Inle Lake on February 11.
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A protester carries a child during a march in Yangon on February 10.
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Women in wedding gowns holds up anti-coup placards in Yangon on February 10.
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A police officer aims a gun during clashes with protesters in the capital of Naypyidaw on February 9.
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A protester pleads for police to refrain from using tear gas against demonstrators in Yangon on February 9.
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Police fire water cannons at protesters in Naypyidaw on February 9.
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Protesters gather in Yangon on February 8.
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Protesters flash three-fingered salutes as they face rows of riot police in Naypyidaw on February 8.
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Hospital workers show three-finger salutes during a demonstration in Yangon on February 7.
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A rally takes place in Yangon on February 7.
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Protesters shout slogans in Yangon on February 7.
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Protesters give roses to riot police in Yangon on February 6.
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Yangon residents bang objects to show support for Suu Kyi and her party on February 5.
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Soldiers block a road near Myanmar’s Parliament on February 2, a day after the coup.
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The mother of Aung Kaung Htet wails during the teenage boy’s funeral on Sunday, March 21. Aung, 15, was killed when military junta forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in Yangon, Myanmar.
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Unidentified people cross the Tiau River at the India-Myanmar border on Saturday, March 20. Some people from Myanmar <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/11/asia/myanmar-india-mizoram-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”>have sought refuge in India</a> since the protests began.
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An anti-coup protester jumps over a makeshift barricade in Yangon on Friday, March 19.
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Protesters take positions on Yangon’s Bayint Naung Bridge on Wednesday, March 17. The bridge was blocked with an improvised barricade to prevent security forces from crossing.
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Medical students hold up the <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/world/asia/thailand-hunger-games-salute/index.html” target=”_blank”>three-finger salute</a> at the Yangon funeral of Khant Nyar Hein on Tuesday, March 16. The first-year medical student was fatally shot during the crackdown.
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Protesters test Molotov cocktails in Yangon on March 16.
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Protesters stand near burning tires in Yangon on March 16.
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Anti-coup protesters pray in Yangon on March 14.
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Emergency workers transport the body of Shel Ye Win, who was shot by security forces in Mandalay, Myanmar.
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Smoke billows from the industrial zone of the Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon on March 14. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar said several <a href=”https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/15/asia/myanmar-deaths-chinese-factories-intl-hnk/index.html” target=”_blank”>Chinese-funded factories were set ablaze</a> during protests. Demonstrators have accused Beijing of supporting the coup and junta.
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A member of Myanmar’s police is seen firing a weapon toward protesters in Yangon on March 13.
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People lay flowers and light candles beside bloodied pavement where protester Chit Min Thu was killed in Yangon.
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Military trucks are seen near a burning barricade in Yangon that was erected by protesters and then set on fire by soldiers on March 10.
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A protester holds a homemade shield during an anti-coup demonstration in Yangon on March 9.
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A protester discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas that was fired by police in Yangon on March 8.
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Protesters string up longyi, traditional clothing worn in Myanmar, during a demonstration in Yangon on March 7.
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The wife of Phoe Chit, a protester who died during a demonstration, cries over her husband’s coffin during his funeral in Yangon on March 5.
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Protesters step on portraits of Myanmar’s armed forces chief, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, during a demonstration in Yangon on March 5.
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People cry in Yangon on March 4, near a spot where a family member was killed while protesting.
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Protesters lie on the ground after police opened fire to disperse an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.
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Schoolteachers wear traditional hats while participating in an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.
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A soldier stands next to a detained man during a demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.
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Anti-coup protesters run in Yangon on March 3. One of them discharged a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas fired by police.
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An anti-coup protester writes vital emergency information of another protester on his arm in Yangon.
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Police run toward protesters to disperse a demonstration in Yangon on March 3.
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A citizen of Myanmar living in India burns a poster of Myanmar’s military chief during a protest in New Delhi on March 3.
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Medics help supply oxygen to a protester who was exposed to tear gas in Yangon on March 3.
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Protesters flee after tear gas was fired during a demonstration in Yangon on March 1.
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Protesters smoke behind shields during a demonstration in Yangon on March 1.
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Protesters in Yangon run away from tear gas on March 1.
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People in Yangon take part in a ceremony on February 28 to remember those who have been killed during demonstrations.
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Soldiers patrol during a protest in Yangon on February 28.
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Protesters take cover as they clash with police in Yangon on February 28.
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Protesters erect barricades during a demonstration in Yangon on February 28.
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Police charge at anti-coup protesters in Yangon on February 27.
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An injured protester receives medical attention in Mandalay after police and military forces cracked down on protests on February 26.
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Factory workers hold placards and shout slogans as they hold an anti-coup protest in Yangon on February 25.
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Anti-coup protesters shout slogans in Yangon on February 25.
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A police officer films protesters near the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon on February 24.
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Thida Hnin cries during the funeral of her husband, Thet Naing Win, in Mandalay on February 23. He and another protester <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/20/asia/myanmar-police-protestors-reports-shooting-intl/index.html” target=”_blank”>were fatally shot by security forces</a> during an anti-coup protest.
Photos: Unrest in Myanmar
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Police stand guard near the US Embassy in Yangon as protesters take part in an anti-coup demonstration on February 22.
Photos: Unrest in Myanmar
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“Which country would accept these kind of violent acts?” he said at a news conference in the capital, Naypyidaw. “We will act according to law if the protest is peaceful. But we will use minimal force and least steps if there is violence.”
At least 2,812 people have been detained since the coup, according to AAPP. As of Tuesday, Save the Children said it has responded to 146 cases of child arrests or detentions, and at least 488 students are currently being held by security forces. Many people have been taken arbitrarily in nighttime raids and their families do not know where their loved ones are, or what condition they are in, the United Nations said.
The junta’s deadly suppression of peaceful protests has been widely condemned internationally. Zaw Min Tun’s comments came a day after the US and European Union imposed further sanctions on groups and individuals linked to the coup and crackdown on protesters.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced new sanctions against Myanmar’s chief of police, Than Hlaing, and its Bureau of Special Operations commander, Lt. Gen. Aung Soe, as well as two army units long implicated in human rights abuses in ethnic areas. Meanwhile, the EU designated 11 individuals associated with the coup and related violence.
She was shot dead, her body dug up and her grave filled with cement. But her fight is not over
She was shot dead, her body dug up and her grave filled with cement. But her fight is not over
Previously, UN officials have said the military’s actions against civilians “likely meet the threshold for crimes against humanity” and have called on the UN to impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar and further sanctions on military-owned and operated companies.
“The junta can’t defeat the people of Myanmar united in peaceful opposition. Desperate, it launches ruthless attacks to provoke a violent response to try and justify even more violence. It’s not working. The world must respond by cutting their access to money and weapons,” UN special rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in a tweet Saturday.
The military has tried to justify its takeover by claiming the November 8, 2020 elections, which were decisively won by Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, had been marred by fraud. After the country’s election commission disputed that claim, the military seized power and replaced the commission.
In addition to leveling four charges against Suu Kyi that could result in a years-long prison sentence, the junta has accused her of bribery and corruption.
In Tuesday’s three-hour-long news conference, spokesperson Zaw Min Tun presented details claiming to show how the NLD committed electoral fraud by inventing voters and creating hundreds or even thousands of extra ballots, according to Reuters.
In one video, a government official testified Suu Kyi allegedly took bribes of cash and gold. Former Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein said he had to give money to Suu Kyi “whenever needed” to get support for his work.
CNN cannot independently verify these claims and has reached out to Suu Kyi’s lawyer for comment. Khin Maung Zaw had previously said the corruption allegations “are a complete fabrication.”