Myanmar
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A military court in Myanmar has sentenced Jewish American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison, CNN reported.

Fenster, 37, has been detained in the country since the end of May when the Detroit, Michigan native, on his way home to see family and friends, was taken into custody at the Yangon International Airport shortly before boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

At the hearing on Friday, Fenster’s lawyer Than Zaw Aung said the journalist was found guilty of visa breaches, associating with an illegal group and incitement under section 505a of the Myanmar penal code – publishing comments that “cause fear” or spread “false news.”

He was also fined the equivalent of $50 USD.

Fenster is among approximately 100 journalists who have been detained, imprisoned or expelled from the country since a military coup took control of its government in February 2021. Around 30 are still in jail.

In May, Fenster’s brother Bryan Fenster said his assumption was that his brother was being detained because he was a journalist who had been covering the coup in Myanmar. According to local media reports Fenster was the fourth foreign journalist to be detained.

On Tuesday, Fenster was charged with two additional offenses, involving sedition and terrorism, that have a maximum penalty of life in prison, CNN reported.

In a Facebook statement, news magazine Frontier Myanmar said it was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision.

"Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and frustrated at this decision. We just want to see Danny released as soon as possible so he can go home to his family," said Frontier Editor-in-Chief Thomas Keen.

The magazine said the charges against the journalist stemmed from allegations that he worked for banned news outlet, Myanmar Now, in the days after the military coup.

However, Frontline said that Fenster stopped working for Myanmar Now in July 2020, months before the coup took place.

"There is absolutely no basis to convict Danny of these charges. His legal team clearly demonstrated to the court that he had resigned from Myanmar Now and was working for Frontier from the middle of last year," said Kean.