CNN said in a report, Saturday, March 13, 2021, that Myanmar security forces stormed one of the cemeteries where a girl who was killed in the protests against the military coup, destroyed the perimeter of the cemetery and threw flowers and wreaths.
The next morning, in footage shared with CNN and from witness accounts, among the remains littered around the grave of girl “Angel” who had been corrupted by the security forces, there were razors, rubber shoes, surgical gowns, shovels and blood-stained plastic gloves.
Then the authorities destroyed all the flowers placed in front of the cemetery and then completely filled the grave with cement.
Protests against the coup in Myanmar
Angel (19 years), whose real name is Kayal Sen, was killed on March 3, during her participation in the protests calling for the return of democracy to the country in Mandalay, Myanmar, and hours after her burial, security forces entered the cemetery and exhumed her body in the cover of darkness, under the pretext of conducting a medical autopsy despite Failure to obtain family approval as stipulated by law.
She was wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Everything will be fine”, a symbol of the country’s deadly struggle for democracy, as her image was held high on banners at protests and in artworks shared online.
Its struggle was a symbol of a generation fighting for freedom and democracy against a brutal and relentless military council that launched a systematic attack on peaceful protesters. At least 80 people have been killed and hundreds injured since the coup, according to the United Nations. More than 2,000 people were arrested due to allegations of torture and enforced disappearance. Not much has been heard since.
The deadliest in the country
The day of the murder of Angel, 3 March, was one of the bloodiest days since the outbreak of protests against the military coup, as security forces opened fire on crowds of people across the country, killing at least 38 people. Citizen journalists and journalists showed corpses lying in the streets surrounded by pools of blood as protesters fled to hide.
Angel had joined the protests in Mandalay and was part of a core group of activists on the front lines who protected other protesters from police advances, doused tear gas canisters with wet clothes or led crowds to cheering, according to her friend Min Het O.
“It was very dangerous, because we were in the front line and Angel was with us, and she was the only girl in the group. She was the bravest, she was the most active and led everyone in the front line,” she said.
At noon, protesters encountered security forces on 84th Street in Mandalay. The footage shows Angel screaming, “I am afraid, but we will fight for our freedom” and “we will not run.”
About half an hour later, videos of activists appear to show Angel and other protesters backing down as they sit down, as the sound of bullets rang out. In one of the videos before her death, she can be heard screaming: “People in the front, please sit down. You cannot be allowed to die.”
In the moments before her death, photos showed her head from behind, pointing toward the security forces’ line. In a short video clip, activists said Angel’s arm was visible before it fell to the ground.
Fellow protesters can be seen carrying her onto a motorbike, which is rushing to a makeshift clinic. A doctor declared her death on arrival. The doctor, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said the main cause of death was a traumatic brain injury.
A few days before her death, Angel posted a message on Facebook offering to donate her blood and organs to anyone who might need it.
Thousands of people attended Angel’s funeral or followed the funeral procession to the cemetery on their motorbikes. Many raised their three-fingered salute from the “Hunger Games” films, which had become a symbol of resistance among the protesters.
But only hours after her burial, Myanmar police dug Angel’s grave. To conduct what she claimed was an autopsy is required to investigate the cause of her death. An eyewitness, who was not identified by CNN for his safety, said that he was between 4 pm. At 7 pm, about 20 people arrived at the gate of the cemetery.
The witness said, “They got here by car and motorbike, leveling the guns and asking to open the gate. There was another army vehicle in the back.” He added, “I saw a man open the gate for them … They said that he would not allow us to enter, we were not allowed to see us, and no one was informed of that.”
The witness also said that they were not able to see what the group was doing at the cemetery once they entered, but the next morning they saw that they had “rebuilt the tomb,” referring to Angel’s plot.
Footage taken by a bystander showed garbage strewn around the grave site, including shovels, blood-stained plastic gloves and razor blades, apparently left by police from the night before.
The news of the exhumation shocked many, including the doctor who received Angel’s body after her death.
For its part, Myanmar police said that they need to investigate Angel’s death, but her family did not agree to an autopsy. In a statement published by state media, the police said that her body was exhumed “with the permission of the judge, district police officials, forensic doctors and witnesses.”
The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in a statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva: “The people of Myanmar not only need words of support, they need supportive action. They need the help of the international community now.” .
This apparent underestimation of human life has been categorized by Amnesty International, which said that the military deployed a “large arsenal and notorious forces” during the nationwide “killing spree”.