Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday welcomed the release of American journalist Danny Fenster from prison in Myanmar, where he had been detained for more than five months and was recently sentenced to 11 years behind bars.
In a statement, Blinken commended the work of U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar Tom Vajda, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for helping secure Fenster’s release.
“We are glad that Danny will soon be reunited with his family as we continue to call for the release of others who remain unjustly imprisoned in Burma,” Blinken said.
Fenster, a 37-year-old Michigan native and managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, was arrested in May in the aftermath of the Myanmar military’s February coup of the Southeast Asian Nation’s democratically elected government.
Fenster had been denied bail and held in the infamous Insein Prison in Yangon, the country’s biggest city. On Friday, a military court handed down an 11-year prison sentence with hard labor, finding Fenster guilty of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations.