In May, Danny Fenster, 37, who worked as an editor for an independent magazine called, Frontier Myanmar, got arrested and was declared 11 years sentenced to jail for violation of immigration and illegal assembly laws. Allegedly, he was also accused of spreading inflammatory or false information.
He was among the seven other journalists who had been given the harshest punishment after the military expelled Aung San Suu Kyi, the elected government of Nobel laureate, in February.
“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” said Bill Richardson, the former UN ambassador and ex-governor of New Mexico.
“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” he added.
As per the statement, Fenster was sent to Richardson in Myanmar. From there, he will fly to his country via Qatar airways in the next and a half days.
The journalist was kept in detention and was taken to Yangon International Airport on 24th May to head to Detroit, United States, to meet his family.
In a statement, his family said, “We are overjoyed that Danny has been released and is on his way home — we cannot wait to hold him in our arms,” “We are tremendously grateful to all the people who have helped secure his release, especially Ambassador Richardson, as well as our friends and the public who have expressed their support and stood by our sides as we endured these long and difficult months.”
While it is yet to clarify what the journalist seemed to have done, the case appeared to be hinged on proving that another news outlet employed Fenster, which has been ordered to shut down during a media crackdown after a seizure of power by the military. Fenster worked for the company for a year and then left.
As per the United Nations, since after the takeover, the military has detained almost 126 journalists, publishers, and media officials and 47 are still in custody. However, not all of them were charged.
Out of the seven journalists who have been convicted, 6 are Myanmar nationals, and 4 have been released in a mass release in October.
“We welcome the release of American journalist Daniel Fenster from prison in Burma, where he was wrongfully detained for almost six months,” said Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state. “We are glad that Danny will soon be reunited with his family as we continue to call for the release of others who remain unjustly imprisoned in Burma.”