US Journo Fenster Sentenced to 11 Years in Myanmar
Bangkok, November 12, 2021 – A Myanmar court today sentenced American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison on multiple charges including incitement, unlawful association, and visa violations, according to news reports.
The trial was held at Yangon’s Insein Prison, where Fenster is being detained, and was closed to the press and public, the Associated Press reported. According to the AP report, his lawyer, Than Zaw Aung, said Fenster was sentenced to the maximum term of each charge.
“We regret today’s harsh ruling against journalist Danny Fenster, call for his immediate and unconditional release, and for all charges pending against him to be dropped,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Myanmar must stop jailing journalists for merely doing their jobs of reporting the news.”
Fenster, managing editor of the local Frontier Myanmar online magazine, has been detained at Yangon’s Insein Prison since May 24, when he was arrested at Yangon International Airport while attempting to travel to his home in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States.
Fenster also faces terrorism and sedition charges, which carry maximum 10- and 20-year prison sentences, respectively, according to news reports and CPJ reporting.
His trial on those charges will begin on November 16, reports said.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Information did not immediately reply to CPJ’s request for comment on today’s ruling.
CPJ has repeatedly called on Myanmar’s military junta to release all of the journalists it has jailed since staging a coup on February 1, 2021.