Danny Fenster, a U.S. journalist, is frustrated by his continued detention in Myanmar, according to his lawyer.
According to his lawyer, imprisoned American journalist Danny Fenster appeared disheartened in a court hearing in Myanmar on Monday.
Fenster, who has been held in Yangon’s Isein Prison for the past four months while awaiting trial, is accused of inciting riots by “publishing incendiary information.” He might face a three-year prison sentence, but the charge does not specify what offenses he committed.
Isein Prison is well-known for its overcrowding and use as a holding facility for political detainees. In February, a military coup recaptured control in the troubled country, and since then, it has targeted independent press organizations, suspending their licenses and arresting journalists.
When they spoke in a video conference during Monday’s court session, Fenster’s lawyer, Than Zaw Aung, told reporters that the journalist appeared defeated. Because of worries about coronavirus, the proceedings are held in a township court rather than a dedicated courtroom within the prison.
“His hair began to get longer. “He seemed disappointed, and he stated to me, frustratedly, ‘I have nothing to say,’” the lawyer claimed. “I asked him if the jail authorities had vaccinated him, and he responded no. His statements indicated that he was not in good health. He didn’t make any requests.”
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In mid-July, Fenster stated that he suspected he had contracted COVID-19 and that he had not been given the medication he had requested. He was not infected, according to prison officials.
On May 24, Fenster was stopped at Yangon International Airport as he attempted to catch a flight to meet his family in the Detroit area of the United States. He is the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, a non-profit internet news organization situated in Yangon, Myanmar’s capital.
“We’re quite concerned about Danny’s physical and mental health, especially considering his manner at today’s hearing,” Frontier editor-in-chief Thomas Kean said. “It’s fair that he’d be unhappy and disappointed — after all, he shouldn’t have been held in the first place. Danny has been in Insein Prison for nearly four months, and the authorities have no reason to keep him there another day. He should be released right away so that he can see his family.”
The meeting on Monday aimed to extend Fenster’s sentence. This is a condensed version of the information.