Family of Metro Detroit native Danny Fenster holds out hope as Myanmar set to release thousands of political prisoners

Detained journalist’s tenth hearing was last Friday

The country that put a journalist from Michigan behind bars is releasing thousands of other political prisioners, but what does that mean for Danny Fenster?

DETROIT – Journalist Danny Fenster is from Huntington Woods and the community has been supporting his family since he was detained in Myanmar as a political prisoner.

It’s a common sight, folks hopeful he’ll return home safely.

“You know as the sun rises, so do we. And thankfully our community has as well and they’re helping us get through,” said Bryan Fenster, brother of the detained journalist.

For Bryan Fenster and his family a sliver of optimism this week. A Buddhist holiday might lead to amnesty for his brother who’s been detained in Myanmar for five months.

READ MORE: Jailed US journalist Danny Fenster in Myanmar slapped with new charge

“We’re always hopeful you never know, we’re trying not to get our hopes up but they are having this holiday there and there are these amnesties happening and we’ve always hoped on humanitarian grounds that they’d be able to release him and send him home,” said Bryan Fenster.

There have been conflicting reports on how many prisoners could be released and if any detained after the coup would even be eligible.

“You hold your breath for a second and then you start to think about it, you know, we haven’t heard from the state department. There is no indications that Danny might be included in that. There have been several amnesties during the duration of his detainment thus far, and obviously he has not been locked out yet,” he added.

The detained journalist’s tenth hearing was last Friday. It was only his second time in court in person since lockdowns ended in Myanmar.

“It’s hard to, he keeps going to court, and he keeps getting sent back so you know to him, understandably, he is just floating in a black hole,” he said.

The family was able to talk to their son over the phone for about twenty minutes this past weekend.

“We really try and kind of pull our boots up and be there for him but I’m not gonna lie, it’s extremely, extremely hard. The Metro Detroit family says they’re relying on community support as this legal nightmare continues halfway around the world.

“We’re so appreciative of the continued interest, and we just want you to know, while we’re battered, we’re not down and out.

For more on the Metro Detroit native’s story or how to help his cause, click here.


About the Authors:

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

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.