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Myanmar military releases American journalist

American journalist Danny Fenster and former diplomat Bill Richardson speak to media after landing at the Doha, Qatar, airport on Nov. 15. Associated Press/Photo by Luis Costa

Myanmar military releases American journalist

Government officials suddenly pardoned Danny Fenster just days after they sentenced him to 11 years of hard labor on charges of circulating false or inflammatory information and violating visa regulations. Fenster is the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar. Former diplomat Bill Richardson, who is also a former governor of New Mexico, conducted negotiations with Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the nation’s ruler, during an earlier humanitarian visit. Richardson flew out with Fenster to Qatar and will return him home to Detroit, Mich., in the coming days.

What happened? The military junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma, detained Fenster six months ago in a prison typically used to hold political prisoners and notorious for poor conditions. He was one of roughly 126 journalists and media officials detained in Myanmar since the military coup in February and the only American to be convicted. Richardson did not give the details of the negotiations, but the military announced they pardoned Fenster on humanitarian grounds at the request of Richardson and the Japan–Myanmar Friendship Association.

Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in World Tour on political instability in Myanmar.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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