Myanmar Junta Jails US Journalist for 11 Years; Know Who Is Danny Fenster
New Delhi: A Myanmar military court has sentenced US journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in jail.
Fenster (37) has been held in Insein Prison in the country’s biggest city Yangon since his arrest on May 24.
Fenster, who was the managing editor of online site Frontier Myanmar, is one of about 100 journalists detained since the military seized power in February. About 30 remain behind bars.
Earlier this week two new criminal charges were brought against him under the country’s sedition and terrorism laws, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Fenster was found guilty of breaching immigration law, unlawful association and encouraging dissent against the military.
Fenster had earlier worked for Myanmar Now, an independent news site.
Frontier Myanmar is also an independent news outlet that covers current affairs, business and politics in Myanmar. Fenster was arrested at Yangon International Airport while trying to leave the country to see his family in the US.
“Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and frustrated at this decision. We just want to see Danny released as soon as possible so he can go home to his family,” said Thomas Keen, Frontier’s Editor-in-Chief.
“There is absolutely no basis to convict Danny of these charges. His legal team clearly demonstrated to the court that he had resigned from Myanmar Now and was working for Frontier from the middle of last year,” said Kean.
The US has pressed the military government to release him. The US has not yet commented on the ruling.
His sentencing comes months after a Japanese freelance journalist was arrested in Myanmar and charged with spreading fake news.
Yuki Kitazumi was reporting for many of Japan’s major news outlets. Myanmar authorities maintain he violated the law but released him because Japan had requested it.