Asia - Pacific

American journalist released from Myanmar prison, says employer

Danny Fenster was convicted to 11 years in prison for incitement and violating immigration laws on Nov. 12

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 15.11.2021
American journalist released from Myanmar prison, says employer File Photo

ISTANBUL

Three days after being convicted to 11 years in prison in Myanmar, American journalist Danny Fenster was released on Monday, his employer said.

"Frontier Myanmar's Managing Editor Danny Fenster has been released from prison in Myanmar today and is on a flight out of the country," Frontier Myanmar, the Yangon-based magazine, said in a statement on Twitter.

A court in military-ruled Myanmar had on Nov. 12 sentenced the 37-year-old journalist for incitement and violating unlawful association and immigration laws.

He was arrested at the Yangon International Airport on May 24 while trying to leave for the US, with the Myanmar military accusing him of working for Myanmar Now, another news outlet headquartered in Yangon.

But the magazine maintained that Fenster resigned from Myanmar Now in July 2020, and joined them the following month.

His trial was held at Yangon’s Insein Prison and was closed to the public, according to publication, which had described the verdict as “the harshest possible under the law.”

“We are relieved that Danny is finally out of prison – somewhere he never should have been in the first place,” said Frontier Myanmar's Editor-in-Chief Thomas Kean. “The Frontier team would like to thank all who worked to secure Danny’s release over the past five-and-a-half months.”

He called on the military regime to release all the journalists who remain behind bars in the Southeast Asian country.

Earlier, Sonny Swe, the publisher of Frontier Myanmar, tweeted: "Great news. I heard @DannyFenster is out."

The Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, detained dozens of journalists after protests erupted throughout the country against the Feb. 1 coup.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group, the junta has killed more than 1,200 civilians since it seized power.

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