Fenster faces a possible three-year prison term.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Danny Fenster, the Metro Detroit journalist who has been jailed since May 24 in Myanmar (Burma), appeared before a judge inside Insein Prison, where he is being held. During the closed hearing, his detention was then extended for two more weeks. He faces a possible three-year prison term. Another hearing is scheduled for July 1.
In the meantime, neither the U.S. State Department nor Frontier Myanmar, the online news magazine he is managing editor of, has had any contact with him. His family in Metro Detroit is urgently publicizing his plight to create pressure on Myanmar to free him.
Since seizing power in a military coup on Feb. 1, the government has tried to silence any independent press — withdrawing publishing licenses and arresting 90 journalists. More than half of the journalists are still in custody, reports the AP. The charge against them is “any attempt to cause fear, spread false news, or agitate directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a government employee.”
The AP reports Frontier Myanmar says it was barred from Fenster’s court hearing, but he was represented by a lawyer. The magazine stated, “We are still seeking information on the reason for Danny’s arrest and continued detention.” The State Department continues to seek access to him under the Vienna Convention.