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US journalist freed after being jailed in Myanmar for nearly six months

Danny Fenster
Posted at 8:03 AM, Nov 15, 2021

BANGKOK — American journalist Danny Fenster, who was recently sentenced to 11 years of hard labor after spending nearly six months in jail in military-ruled Myanmar, has been freed.

Bill Richardson, a former U.S. diplomat who helped negotiate the release, said Fenster was on his way home Monday.

“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” Richardson said in a statement emailed by his office. “We are so grateful that Danny will finally be able to reconnect with his loved ones, who have been advocating for him all this time, against immense odds.”

Fenster, 37, is the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar. The Detroit man was convicted Friday of spreading false or inflammatory information.

Fenster has been detained in Myanmar for more than five months. He's faced charges that include visa breaches, unlawful association with an illegal group and incitement under section 505a of Myanmar's Penal Code, which make it a crime to publish or circulate comments that "cause fear" or spread "false news," CNN reports.

His sentence was the harshest yet among the seven journalists known to have been convicted since the military ousted the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in February.