US journalist Danny Fenster who, just three days ago was sentenced to spend eleven years in jail by a military court in Myanmar, has been set free from prison. Fenster is only one of thousands of people and dozens of journalists being held by Myanmar’s military that took power through a coup staged last February. The American journalist was released after negotiations occurred between US ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson and Myanmar’s military junta. According to the military government, Fenster was pardoned first, then freed on humanitarian grounds.
What were the Charges Against Fenster?
Frontier Myanmar, Fenster’s employer, reported that the journalist was convicted based on charges of encouraging conflict against the military, unlawful association dissidents, and disobeying immigration law. Danny Fester is the managing editor.
Of Frontier Myanmar’s English-language news media site
However, Fenster was brought to trial on additional charges of terrorism and sedition that led to a sentence of serving a life sentence in prison. He was first confined last May when he was supposed to be returning to the US and spent 176 days imprisoned instead.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed Danny Fester from his liberation and added that the journalist had been incarcerated unjustifiably for around six months. Blinken assured journalists that they will continue to demand freedom for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned in Myanmar. According to reports, US Ambassador Richardson made an arrangement with an army general named Gen Min Aung Hlainh in person to let the American journalist go home via plane from Qatar.