Shivani Gadhavi –

Published On: November 12, 2021 at 17:17 IST

On 12th November, 2021 a Myanmar Court sentenced American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years of jail on charges against him for allegedly spreading false and inflammatory news.

Danny Fenster’s lawyer Than Zau Aung stated, “Mr. Fenster, the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, was also found guilty of contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations.”

Danny Fenster is also charged for violating counterterrorism law and a statute covering treason and sedition by a different court in Myanmar, he was also detained at the Yangon International Airport where he was going to board a flight to Detroit, United States of America on 24th May. 2021.

Fenster is the only foreign journalist to be convicted of such serious offenses from when the military took over the power of the nation in February, forcing out government regime of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military regime has put many restrictions on the freedom of press, shutting down all online news portals which have criticized them and arresting about 100 journalists, nearly 30 of whom remain in prison. Some of the banned news portals continue to operate unlicensed, publishing online as their staff members are getting arrested.

Than Zaw Aung stated that “one of the new charges comes under a section of the Counterterrorism Act that is punishable by from 10 years to life in prison. The military-installed government has said it would apply the law harshly in cases involving opposition organizations it has deemed to be ‘terrorist.’”

Another charge is under the Penal Code which is of treason and sedition, and gives out punishment of seven to 20 years of imprisonment.

The hearings on the first three charges were held at the court in Yangon’s Insein Prison, where Danny Fenster is jailed.

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