Congressman Andy Levin said he and his staff have been on the phone with State Department staff, embassy officials, and Danny Fenster’s family every day, doing everything they can to draw attention to the case.
On June 7, two weeks after Metro Detroit journalist Danny Fenster was taken prisoner in Myanmar, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Congressman Andy Levin’s (MI-09) said, “Journalists like Danny put their lives on the line because they believe in truth-telling. His case hits home because it’s about our fundamental values as a democracy and good government, and it literally hits home for me because Danny and his brother Bryan went to my high school–they’re Berkley Bears! His loved ones and his many supporters are in pain, and I just can’t rest until he arrives home safely.”
Levin said that he and his staff had been on the phone with State Department staff, embassy officials, and Danny’s family every day, doing everything we can to draw attention to his case.
“Mr. Secretary, I need to ask you to redouble your efforts,” Levin said. “What more can you do, and what can we do in Congress to support the State Department’s efforts to bring Danny home?
Sec. Blinken replied, “We share the deep concern for Daniel Fenster, that we have for another American citizen journalist, Nathan Muang, who is also being arbitrarily detained. We’ve had access to him. We’ve not had access to Daniel Fenster. That’s a violation, among other things, of the Vienna Convention. We are pressing this in every way that we can.
“We have very limited if any contact with the military regime but certainly through others we’re pressing this as best we can, and we will continue to do so. Other countries also have detained citizens in Myanmar — deep concern there as well — and we are all working together as well to try to get our people home.
“So, all I can tell you and all we can commit to is doubling down on our efforts to do this. I wish I had a sort of silver bullet answer here, except to say, we are very focused on this, very engaged. We want to get them out, get them home.”