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US journalist Danny Fenster freed from prison in Myanmar

15/11/2021 09:50 PM

By Linda Khoo

BANGKOK, Nov 15 -- American journalist Danny Fenster, who was sentenced to 11 years in jail with hard labour in Myanmar, has been released from prison.

Fenster’s release was secured following former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson’s visit to Myanmar for a face-to-face negotiation with Myanmar’s Senior General Min Aung Hlaing recently.

“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work.

“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,” Richardson said in a statement released by The Richardson Centre.

The statement said Fenster and Richardson’s team will be making their long journey home through Qatar, over the next day and a half.

Meanwhile, junta spokesperson Major-Gen Zaw Min Tun confirmed to the BBC that Fenster will be allowed to leave the country.

Fenster, 37, is the managing editor of online magazine Frontier Myanmar. He was arrested in May while trying to leave Myanmar.

He is one of dozens of local journalists who were detained since a military coup in February.

Frontier Myanmar said Fenster was on a flight out of Myanmar.

On Friday, Fenster was sentenced to 11 years in jail with hard labour after he was found guilty of violating visa regulations, contacting illegal organisations, and spreading false or inflammatory information. He was also slapped with two charges of sedition and terrorism, for which he could receive up to life in prison.

Richardson, who is former New Mexico Governor and secretary of energy in the Clinton administration, has a long history of involvement with Myanmar.

Richard faced criticism for his humanitarian visit to Myanmar last week. However, he told AP after the visit that his talks there had focused on facilitating humanitarian assistance to the country, particularly the provision of COVID-19 vaccines.


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