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Online seller Shopee has removed a T-shirt emblazoned with the photo of a Myanmar woman killed protesting in the streets and said it would work to prevent a recurrence. 

No further listings for the black T-shirt printed with the words “Everything Will Be OK” could be found today after the Singapore-based platform responded to fierce criticism it was exploiting the death of Kyal Sin, a teenager shot last month while wearing a similar shirt. 

“We would like to thank our users for bringing this to our attention … As soon as the errant listings were brought to our attention, we swiftly removed them from our platform and will also be investigating this incident,” the company said in a statement last night. 

The listings showed the T-shirt alongside photos of the anti-coup protester running. The company did not identify the seller behind the removed listings, but a screenshot of one linked to “BIGLION Men’s clothing wholesale.” Each T-shirt was listed for at least S$12.10. 

“Our fallen hero from Myanmar, Miss Kyal Sin is NOT a model for your profit!!! This link by @ShopeeSG commercial is so rude!!!” a tweet by user Annitaannie88 said yesterday. It also included several screenshots of the T-shirt for Shopee users in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Brazil. 

Shopee said that it would “not hesitate” to suspend sellers who have violated its listing guidelines, which prohibit the sale of illegal or prescription drugs, advertising of services, and those that infringe copyright, among others. 

“Shopee will continue to work closely with our sellers to prevent such an incident from reoccurring and we remain dedicated to ensuring our platform is one that is not only pleasant for all our users, but also amplifies our values, especially amidst moments of crises,” it said.

Kyal Sin was shot dead on March 3 in Mandalay while protesting the military coup a month earlier. Also known as Angel, the 19-year-old’s death led to nationwide mourning, with many holding her up as a hero and martyr. She became associated with the “Everything will be OK” shirt she was wearing on the day of her death, and similar items have been listed on other ecommerce sites such as Lazada, although Kyal Sin’s face was not used to promote them. 

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This article, ‘Everything Will Be OK’: Shopee pulls merch with Slain Myanmar protester’s image, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.


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