Myanmar court gives US journalist 11 years in jail

A military court in Myanmar has sentenced US journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in jail.

Fenster was found guilty of breaching immigration law, unlawful association and encouraging dissent against the military.

He was earlier this week slapped with two additional charges of sedition and terrorism, which carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

His trial on the new charges will begin on November 16.

37-year-old Fenster, who was the managing editor of online site Frontier Myanmar, was detained at Yangon International airport in May. He is one of dozens of local journalists that have been detained since a military coup in February.

The Frontier said Fenster had earlier worked for Myanmar Now, an independent news site that has been critical of the military since the coup.

“The charges were all based on the allegation that he was working for banned media outlet Myanmar Now. Danny had resigned from Myanmar Now in July 2020 and joined Frontier the following month, so at the time of his arrest in May 2021 he had been working with Frontier for more than nine months,” the news site said.

“There is absolutely no basis to convict Danny of these charges.”

Fenster’s sentencing on Friday comes months after a Japanese freelance journalist was arrested in Myanmar and charged with spreading fake news.

The trial took place behind closed doors, literally, inside Insein prison, where he and many of those detained since the February coup are being held.

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