US journalist Danny Fenster released from Myanmar prison

Washington had called Myanmar’s jailing of Fenster an ‘unjust conviction of an innocent person’.

US journalist Danny Fenster has been released from a prison in Myanmar, three days after he was sentenced to 11 years behind bars for what Yangon said were breaches of immigration and “terrorism” laws, his employer and a former United States ambassador to the United Nations have confirmed.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson said on Monday that Fenster had been handed over to him in Myanmar and would soon be on his way home via Qatar.

“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” Richardson said. “We are so grateful that Danny will finally be able to reconnect with his loved ones, who have been advocating for him all this time, against immense odds.”

The publisher of Frontier Myanmar, the magazine Fenster had worked for before his arrest, also confirmed the release. Meanwhile, a government source told the AFP news agency that Fenster “is being taken” to the capital Naypyidaw from Yangon and will be deported.

“Great news. I heard @DannyFenster is out,” Sonny Swe, the publisher of Frontier Myanmar tweeted on Monday.

Fenster was working as the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar when he was arrested and convicted on Friday of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organisations and violating visa regulations.

Fenster’s sentence was the harshest punishment yet among the seven journalists known to have been convicted since the military seized power in February.

More to follow.