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American journalist in Myanmar sentenced to 11 years

Danny Fenster works in his van in Detroit in 2018 (File). Associated Press/Photo by Fenster Family

American journalist in Myanmar sentenced to 11 years

A court in Myanmar, also known as Burma, on Friday sentenced Danny Fenster to prison after finding him guilty of spreading inflammatory information, immigration violations, and contacting illegal organizations. Authorities detained Fenster, who served as the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, as he tried boarding a flight back to the United States in May. He is the only foreign journalist convicted of a serious crime since the military junta seized power in February.

Why is he a target? The Burmese military has shut down several new outlets and arrested about 100 journalists this year, including 30 who remain in detention. Fenster still faces additional sedition and terrorism charges, which each carry a maximum 20-year sentence. The military in May released detained Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi “in order to reconcile with Japan and improve our relationship.” State Department spokesman Ned Price earlier this week said the United States has continued to press the junta for Fenster’s release.

Dig deeper: Read Angela Lu Fulton’s WORLD Magazine report on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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