(TargetLiberty.org) – On Friday, November 12, a Myanmar court sentenced US journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years of hard labor. Just days after the court handed down its sentence, he’s on his way back to America.
Bill Richardson, who served as former Bill Clinton’s United Nations (UN) ambassador, traveled to the military-controlled country to negotiate Fenster’s release. The ex-diplomat held face-to-face talks with ruler Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. The journalist, who worked as the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, was convicted of contacting illegal organizations, violating visa regulations and spreading fake and inflammatory information.
Richardson announced Fenster’s release on Monday.
Governor Bill Richardson and the Richardson Center are thrilled to announce the release of American journalist Danny Fenster from prison in Myanmar. pic.twitter.com/kBGvlY8e1G
— Richardson Center (@RichardsonCNTR) November 15, 2021
Myanmar has been under military control since February. The UN reports during that time, the military has since arrested at least 126 journalists and other members of the media. The UN estimates 47 are still in custody and 20 have been charged with crimes. Seven of the journalists, including Fenster, have been convicted. The US citizen was the only foreign national convicted; the others are from Myanmar and four of them were released on October 21 under a mass amnesty. The country’s military regime is accused of using journalists to bolster its control.
Fenster is headed back to the US via Qatar. Richardson said he’ll be back home sometime in the next day and a half. Although he’s on his way back to freedom, the human rights crisis continues in Myanmar, with little sign of getting better.
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