Danny Fenster, Jewish-American Journalist Sentenced to 11 Years in Myanmar Prison, Is Released

JTA
Shira Hanau
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Danny Fenster, right, with his brother Bryan at a friend's wedding in Krakow, Poland, September 2019.
Danny Fenster, right, with his brother Bryan at a friend's wedding in Krakow, Poland, September 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Bryan Fenster
JTA
Shira Hanau

Danny Fenster, a Jewish American journalist who has been imprisoned in Myanmar since May and who was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday has been released.

Former New Mexico governor and former diplomat Bill Richardson, who was in Myanmar on a humanitarian visit, told reporters Monday that Fenster would travel back to the United States “through Qatar, over the next day and a half,” according to CNN.

Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for Myanmar’s military, told CNN that Fenster “has been released and deported. We will release details why he was released later.”

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Fenster, who had lived and worked in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, since 2019 and was a managing editor at Frontier Myanmar, had been detained at the airport while trying to leave the country to visit the United States in May. He had been held without bail on various charges by Myanmar’s military, all having to do with his journalism.

Bill Richardson, right, with Fenster

Fenster’s imprisonment became a rallying cry in his hometown of Detroit, where many lawns display “Free Fenster” signs on their front lawns, and his family organized rallies attended by local Congressman Andy Levin. A recent post on a “Bring Danny Home” Facebook group, which has more than 6,000 members, reads, “We wish more than anything that Danny would be brought home to this community that loves him so.”

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