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American journalist Danny Fenster is out of prison in Myanmar, according to media reports, just three days after he was sentenced to 11 years in jail for incitement and breaches of immigration and terrorism laws.
According to DW, former US Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson said Fenster had been released from prison and handed over to him in Myanmar, adding that he would be soon on his way home via Qatar.
“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” Richardson said in a statement. “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.”
“Great news. I heard @DannyFenster is out,” Sonny Swe, the publisher of Frontier Myanmar, Fenster’s employer, said on Twitter. He did not provide details.
Great news. I heard @DannyFenster is out.
— swe_sonny (@swe_sonny) November 15, 2021
Another source at the online magazine confirmed the same information.
The circumstances around his release were not immediately clear.
Fenster’s family, the US embassy in Yangon and a spokesman for Myanmar‘s ruling military council did not immediately respond to separate requests for comment.
Fenster, 37, is managing editor of online magazine Frontier Myanmar and was arrested in May while trying to leave Myanmar, a country in chaos since a February 1 military coup.
He was the first Western journalist sentenced to prison in recent years in Myanmar, where the coup against the elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi ended a decade of tentative steps towards democracy and triggered nationwide protests.
The military has arrested dozens of journalists among thousands detained after protests erupted nationwide.
(With inputs from Reuters)