Watch: Danny Fenster back in US, speaks about his time in Myanmar jail

Michigan native returns to America after imprisonment in Myanmar

Danny Fenster spoke Tuesday morning at a news conference with the former U.S. diplomat who helped free him from detention in Myanmar. For more coverage: https://www.clickondetroit.com/topic/Danny_Fenster/

Danny Fenster spoke Tuesday morning at a news conference with the former U.S. diplomat who helped free him from detention in Myanmar.

Bill Richardson, a former U.S. diplomat, helped negotiate Myanmar’s release of Fenster over the weekend. Fenster joined him and other officials at the news conference Tuesday morning in New York.

Fenster is a native of Huntington Woods, Mich. He was working as a journalist in Myanmar, then spent nearly six months in jail in the military-ruled country and was sentenced last week to 11 years of hard labor. On Tuesday, he spoke about his arrest, time in jail, bits of information he received from outside and the feeling he had of becoming free again.

But he had no idea what was happening at first.

“I was shuffled into a car, shackled hands and legs, and told not to ask questions or say anything. We drove straight past the airport in Yangon so I had no idea where we were going,” Fenster said. “We drove to Naypyidaw. So I spent the entire day in Naypyidaw waiting ... for something. I didn’t understand what I was waiting for, but I was just sitting in a chair, staring at an empty chair across from me. And several hours later a police officer sat down and said, ‘You’ve been charged with these crimes and found guilty. We’re going to offer you this pardon, and you’re going to leave right now.’ And I was in Naypyidaw, not Yangon. My wife was in Yangon in the apartment that we shared, I didn’t get to see her or talk to her.”

Fenster described some of his time in prison, saying he spent most of his time reading or jogging in a small space outside.

Watch Fenster’s full comments above.

Read more: ‘We’re a very close family’: Danny Fenster’s family relieved, grateful for his release from prison in Myanmar


More coverage: US journalist jailed in Myanmar for months heads home



About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.