A military court in Myanmar has sentenced United States of America journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in jail for allegedly spreading false and inflammatory information. The court also found Fenster guilty of contacting illegal organizations and violating visa rules, AP quoted his lawyer Than Zaw Aung as saying.
The development is another instance of a crackdown on press freedom since the military seized power in Myanmar in February, ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Fenster, the editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, has been detained since May. about 100 journalists are detained since the coup. about thirty remain in jail.
Fenster was arrested at Yangon airport on May 24 while he was close to boarding a flight to the united states.
He still faces 2 additional charges for allegedly violating counter-terrorism and infringement laws, his lawyer said. the charges carry a maximum sentence of life in jail.
“Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and pissed off at this decision. we have a tendency to simply want to see Danny released as soon as possible so he will head home to his family,” Editor-in-Chief Thomas Edmund Kean said in a statement after the sentencing.
A report in CNN quoted Frontier Myanmar as saying that the fees were based on the allegation that Fenster was working for an illegal media outlet Myanmar now following the military coup. However, Frontier same Fenster had resigned from Myanmar currently in July 2020.
“There is totally no basis to convict Danny of these charges. His legal team clearly demonstrated to the court that he had resigned from Myanmar now and was operating for Frontier from the middle of last year,” Thomas Edmund Kean said.
More than 1,200 civilians are killed in protests, according to activists cited by the United Nations.
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