Metro Detroit journalist detained in Myanmar appears in court, continues to be held

Danny Fenster ‘doing okay,’ lawyer says during court hearing

In this file photo provided by Bryan Fenster, we see his brother, Danny Fenster, in September of 2019 in Kraków, Poland. Fenster, the American journalist in Myanmar detained in May 2021, by authorities, made an appearance Thursday, June 17, 2021, in a special court in the prison where he is being held, his employer, online news and business magazine Frontier Myanmar, said.
In this file photo provided by Bryan Fenster, we see his brother, Danny Fenster, in September of 2019 in Kraków, Poland. Fenster, the American journalist in Myanmar detained in May 2021, by authorities, made an appearance Thursday, June 17, 2021, in a special court in the prison where he is being held, his employer, online news and business magazine Frontier Myanmar, said. (Byron Fenster/AP file photo)

DETROIT – Metro Detroit journalist Danny Fenster appeared in court on Thursday in Myanmar, where he has been detained since May.

Fenster’s lawyer told CNN that Danny “looks healthy,” and is “doing okay,” though he continues to be held. His next hearing is scheduled for July 15.

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.

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About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.

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