Danny Fenster
Danny Fenster. (Bryan Fenster)

Myanmar accuses detained journalist of violating ‘Unlawful Associations Act.”

During his fourth month in pretrial detainment in a Myanmar prison, Frontier Myanmar managing editor and Huntington Woods native Danny Fenster, 37, had his ninth hearing, where he faced an additional charge by the military junta government of 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act, though it closely related to the Section 505A charges, according to reports by the Associated Press.

It was the journalist’s first in-person hearing in over two months in a country that has witnessed a crackdown and imprisonment of hundreds of journalists since the government there was overthrown by a military coup on Feb. 1, 2021.

According to his lawyer, authorities refused to disclose the reason behind his arrest.

Danny’s brother Bryan Fenster on the Bring Danny Home Facebook page told supporters on Oct. 4 that he and his parents, Buddy and Rose Fenster, were able to speak to Danny on the phone on Thursday, Sept. 30.

“To our relief, he sounded much better,” wrote Bryan. “He expressed his love and yearning for home … It wouldn’t be a good phone call with Danny without some laughs, which we had plenty of. It’s quite the life lesson to hear my brother maintain a sense of humor in the face of all the adversity.”

Regarding the latest hearing, Bryan wrote that the family continues to remain cautiously optimistic that the in-person hearings will proceed, and that this process will play out so that they can finally bring him home.

Fenster was detained by the military in Myanmar on May 24, 2021, moments before he was to fly from Yangon to Detroit to see his family for the first time in more than three years.

Since then, he has been held at Insein Prison under investigation under a law criminalizing dissent that carries a maximum three-year jail sentence.

Danny is being represented by an attorney from Frontier Myanmar, and the family is in touch with the counselor through a translator, though communication and information has been very limited, according to Bryan Fenster.

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Stacy Gittleman is an award-winning journalist and has been a contributing writer for the Detroit Jewish News for the last five years. Prior to moving to Metro Detroit in 2013, she was a columnist and feature writer for Gannett's Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY. She also manages social media pages for other local non-profit organizations including the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit. Contact her with breaking news and feature story ideas that impact Detroit's Jewish community at stacy.gittleman@yahoo.com