Metro Detroit journalist detained in Myanmar speaks to family ahead of Thursday hearing


Family speaks to imprisoned journalist Danny Fenster; Hearing set for Thursday

DETROIT – The family of Danny Fenster has some new hope in the form of a phone call.

Fenster remains in custody of the new Myanmar government. He was arrested in May and unexpectedly called his family Tuesday night. He had not been heard from since May 24.

The U.S. Consulate connected Fenster’s wife in Yangon, who put the phone on speaker and called his brother, Bryan Fenster. While the connection may not have been pristine, hearing Danny’s voice turned out to be priceless.

“We were able to have a few light hearted moments which was really, really nice,” Bryan Fenster said. “He was more talkative than I would have imagined, which was really great, but it was just making sure he was OK, made sure he knew we were OK and the embassy was making sure he knew what to expect at the hearing on Thursday.”

Bryan Fenster said they weren’t going to talk about anything that might get Danny Fenster into trouble with the Myanmar government.

Danny was going to fly home to Detroit and surprise his parents on May 24 when the new military junta’s police arrested him at the airport and claimed he spread “false news” that “caused fear to a group of citizens.”

Danny’s parents have been keeping the pressure on as best as they can, holding vigils for their son.

There’s little doubt Thursday’s court hearing will be like the last one.

“We’re not holding out hope that he could be released tomorrow,” Bryan Fenster said. “But it’s not likely we’re preparing for a long haul here.”

Bryan said his brother seemed upbeat, but he believes the conditions of the prison is having a terrible impact on his brother.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.