Who is Danny Fenster, American journalist freed by Myanmar?
- Danny Fenster was detained at Yangon International Airport in Myanmar on May 24
- Fenster had been reporting on the military coup against the Aung Suu Kyi government
- Fenster, who worked for news outlets in Detroit and Louisiana, moved to Asia in 2018 to report on Rohingya genocide
Danny Fenster, an American journalist, has been freed from custody in Myanmar, where the military toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February this year. Fenster, who was detained in May, was sentenced to 11 years in prison last week by a court in Yangon’s Insein Prison on two additional charges of sedition and terrorism after having been convicted of breaching immigration law, unlawful association and encouraging dissent.
Fenster who had been reporting on the coup as the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar was detained at Yangon International Airport on May 24 while preparing to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the first leg of his journey back home to Huntington Woods, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He wanted to surprise his parents after being away for about three years in Asia, according to Fox News. Fenster was the fourth foreign journalist to be detained at the time besides Kamayut Media editor-in-chief Nathan Maung who was released from Insein Prison in June and deported to the United States, and freelancers Robert Bociaga of Poland and Yuki Kitazumi of Japan, who were expelled.
Born in 1984, Fenster earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia College in Chicago and a master's degree in creative writing from Wayne State University in Detroit. Fenster worked for news outlets in Detroit and Louisiana before deciding to move to Asia in 2018. Fenster worked as a reporter and copy editor for Myanmar Now from mid-2019 until July 2020, and joined Frontier Myanmar in August 2020.
Fenster's grandparents had survived the Nazi Holocaust, which made him want to report on the genocide happening in Myanmar against the Rohingya people and the subsequent military coup, his brother, Fenster, told Fox in May.
"He is like this mythical, stereotypical journalist," Bryan was quoted as saying. "He's got a hunger for being on the road, for being with people of different cultures, breathing it in and telling that story through … the relationships he forms and these places that he goes."