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US journalist freed in Myanmar, says he was not beaten or starved By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Managing editor of on-line journal Frontier Myanmar, US journalist Danny Fenster, is pictured in an unknown location on this undated handout image made out there to Reuters on November 12, 2021. Frontier Myanmar/Handout by way of REUTERS/File Ph


By Andrew Mills

DOHA (Reuters) -American journalist Danny Fenster stated he was wholesome and completely happy to be going residence after he was free of jail in Myanmar and flew to Qatar on Monday, following negotiations between former US diplomat Invoice Richardson and the ruling army junta.

Fenster, 37, the managing editor of unbiased on-line journal Frontier Myanmar, appeared frail three days after he was sentenced to 11 years in jail for incitement and violations of legal guidelines on immigration and illegal meeting. He had been detained since Might.

He instructed reporters on the tarmac at Hamad Worldwide Airport in Doha that he felt properly and had not been overwhelmed or starved whereas in captivity.

“I really feel nice and am actually completely happy to be on my manner residence. I am extremely completely happy for every little thing Invoice has carried out,” Fenster, sporting a crimson woollen hat, loose-fitting trousers and a white COVID-19 masks, stated after flying to Doha with Richardson by jet.

“You simply go just a little stir loopy and the longer it drags on the extra apprehensive you might be that it is simply by no means going to finish. That was the most important concern, staying sane via that.”

Requested if he was mistreated, he stated: “I used to be arrested and held in captivity for no motive, so I suppose so. However bodily, I used to be wholesome. I wasn’t starved or overwhelmed.”

Myanmar’s military-owned Myawaddy TV stated Fenster had been granted an amnesty following requests from Richardson and two Japanese representatives “to take care of the friendship between the nations and to emphasise humanitarian grounds”.

Fenster was amongst dozens of media employees detained in Myanmar since a Feb. 1 coup that led to an outpouring of public anger over the army’s abrupt finish to a decade of tentative steps in the direction of democracy. Myanmar’s army has accused many media shops of incitement and spreading false info.

A supply conversant in Richardson’s journey to select up Fenster stated it was organized with out the data of the State Division or the US embassy in Yangon. Officers had initially opposed Richardson’s go to to Myanmar earlier this month and urged him to not increase the case with Myanmar officers, the supply stated.

Earlier than his launch, some State Division officers had been involved that Richardson’s involvement might delay his launch by main the junta to see the American as an asset to attempt to extract concessions.

US State Division spokesperson Ned Value stated on Monday that the previous governor “was not appearing on the path of the US authorities” in Myanmar however officers had been in common contact with Richardson and his staff.

US officers together with Particular Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens additionally labored on getting the journalist launched, Value stated.


The United Nations hailed Fenster’s launch as a “constructive step” however referred to as for no less than 47 different journalists in detention to be freed instantly, UN and Farhan Haq stated in New York.

Fenster stated efforts to safe different journalists’ launch would proceed.

“We will hold the concentrate on them as a lot as potential and do every little thing we are able to to foyer on their behalf. We’re nonetheless making an attempt actually onerous to get them out of there,” he stated.

In accordance with rights group Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners, 10,143 folks have been arrested because the coup and 1,260 folks killed in violence in Myanmar, most of them in a crackdown by safety forces on protests and dissent.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken counseled US officers in addition to Richardson. Blinken stated Washington would “proceed to name for the discharge of others who stay unjustly imprisoned.”

Fenster’s editor-in-chief, Thomas Kean, expressed aid that he had been freed, and stated he was one among many journalists “unjustly arrested merely for doing their job” in Myanmar.

Fenster’s brother, Bryan, stated the household was overjoyed.

“We can not wait to carry him in our arms. We’re tremendously grateful to all of the individuals who have helped safe his launch,” he stated.

Fenster was the primary Western journalist in years to jail in Myanmar, the place the coup towards the elected authorities of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has left the nation in chaos.

Richardson, a former New Mexico governor, US power secretary and US ambassador to the United Nations, visited Myanmar in a humanitarian capability on Nov. 2, providing COVID-19 help.

He’s one among only some foreigners to have met junta chief Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar because the coup, and stated his discussions with the federal government on humanitarian issues and vaccines had helped safe Fenster’s launch.


Abhishek Tiwari
Abhishek Tiwari is the Author & Founder of the He is passionate about Blogging & Digital Marketing.

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