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US journalist Danny Fenster freed from Myanmar jail


US journalist Danny Fenster freed from Myanmar jail
Danny Fenster (Reuters)

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United States journalist Danny Fenster has been released from prison in Myanmar after he was sentenced to 11 years in jail by a military court three days ago.

His employer, English-language news site Frontier Myanmar, said he was on a flight out of Myanmar.

Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the military, which took power in a coup in February, confirmed to the BBC that Fenster could leave the country.

Fenster was detained in May as he was about to fly back to the US.

He is one of dozens of journalists, and thousands of people overall, to be held since the coup.

In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the release of Fenster, who he said had been “wrongfully detained for almost six months”.

“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 Myanmar, Blinken said.

Fenster, who was Frontier’s managing editor, had been convicted of breaching immigration law, unlawful association and encouraging dissent against the military.

Then last week he was hit with two additional charges of sedition and terrorism, which carry a maximum term of life imprisonment.

Fenster’s release appears to have been negotiated by former US ambassador and hostage negotiator Bill Richardson, who is in Myanmar.

Richardson said Fenster would be flying home via Qatar.

“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” he said. (BBC)