Myanmar Court sentences US journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison over Terrorism’ and sedition

Court sentences US journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison over Terrorism’ and sedition. The ruling comes days after Bill Richardson, a former United States diplomat and hostage negotiator, met coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and after prosecutors slapped additional charges of ‘terrorism’ and sedition on Fenster.

The charges were connected to a claim that Fenster was working for Myanmar Now, even though he left the online media outlet in June last year.

The military detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials on February 1 seizing power for itself. The move prompted mass protests and a civil disobedience movement to which the generals have responded with force, killing more than 1,250 people and detaining at least 10,000, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been monitoring the situation.

The 37-year-old was detained at Yangon airport in May, and found guilty on three charges, his employer said in a statement.

Fenster joined Frontier, where he is managing editor, in July 2020. Frontier noted that the court had disregarded key evidence, including tax records, which confirmed Fenster’s employment at the news magazine.

Fenster is among some 100 journalists who have been detained since February. About 30 remain in jail.

“There is absolutely no basis to convict Danny of these charges,” Frontier Editor-in-Chief Thomas Kean wrote in the statement shared on social media.

“His legal team clearly demonstrated to the court that he had resigned from Myanmar Now and was working for Frontier from the middle of last year. Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and frustrated at this decision.”

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