Effort to free Metro Detroit native and journalist detained in Myanmar grows

Family says Danny Fenster was on way home to surprise his parents

Bring Danny home: The effort to free a Huntington Woods man jailed in Myanmar
Bring Danny home: The effort to free a Huntington Woods man jailed in Myanmar

HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. – With each passing day, there’s growing concern about the well-being of Danny Fenster, a Huntington Woods man who was detained in Myanmar where he has been working as a journalist.

A group of people, including U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, are working to find a way to bring Fenster home.

“I think we’re all kind of anxious,” said Allan Lengel, editor of Deadline Detroit. Lengel has been a longtime friend of the Fenster family.

READ: Journalist from Metro Detroit detained by military in Myanmar

“His parents are my closest friends. I’ve known family for years known Danny since birth,” he said. “We’re hopefully that he gets out soon because nobody likes to be in a prison.”

Fenster, who is the editor of “Frontier Myanmar,” was detained at the Yangon International Airport. His family said he was flying home to surprise his parents when he was arrested and jailed.

This week, Levin -- whose district includes Huntington Woods -- and every member of the Michigan Congressional Delegation wrote a letter urging the U.S. Secretary of State to secure Fenster’s immediate release.

“There’s no legitimate charges against Danny Fenster. He is a journalist who is doing his job and telling the truth,” Levin said.

Levin said he’s also been in contact with the Myanmar ambassador in Washington and is keeping Danny’s family updated with any new developments.

“He’s my constituent, and he’s a Berkeley Bear. We need to make sure that he’s freed for his own sake, for his family’s sake, and for the sake of journalism and freedom all around the world,” he said.

Fenster has always found a way to honor his hometown.

“One of the great pieces he did (was about) a bar owner in Myanmar who is in love with Eminem, and he did just such a great job,” Lengel said.

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters tweeted his support for Fenster’s release, and #BringDannyHome is gaining traction online.

“We have some cards to play here, and we are going to play them very carefully. If he is detained longer, we’re in this until we get him free, no matter what it takes,” Levin said.


About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism