Danny Fenster, the Michigan native who was working as a journalist in Myanmar and was sentenced to 11 years in prison just days ago, is now being released from that prison thanks to a former U.S. diplomat.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson said Monday that Fenster had been handed over to him in Myanmar and would return to the U.S. this week. Fenster’s family is “overjoyed.”
Here’s the family’s statement Monday morning:
“We are overjoyed that Danny has been released and is on his way home – we cannot wait to hold him in our arms. We are tremendously grateful to all the people who have helped secure his release, especially Ambassador Richardson, as well as our friends and the public who have expressed their support and stood by our sides as we endured these long and difficult months.”
Fenster was working as the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar. He was convicted Friday of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations. Officials said Fenster’s sentence was the harshest punishment yet among the seven journalists known to have been convicted since Myanmar’s military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February.
(1/2) Day 176!!! We are overjoyed that Danny has been released and is on his way home – we cannot wait to hold him in our arms. We are tremendously grateful to all the people who have helped secure his release, especially @GovRichardson. #BringDannyHome— Bryan Fenster (@bryanFenster) November 15, 2021
The native of Huntington Woods, Mich., has had massive support back home from family, friends, former classmates and the entire state of Michigan.