An American journalist arrested in Myanmar since May has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday on charges of illegal association, incitement against the military and violation of visas, his employer said.
“Frontier Myanmar is deeply disappointed by the decision today to convict its Managing Editor, Danny Fenster, on three charges and impose prison sentences a total of 11 years,” the store said in a statement.
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Fenster, who was arrested while trying to leave the country in May, also faces charges of rebellion and terrorism that could see him imprisoned for life.
The 37-year-old worked for Frontier Myanmar for about a year and went home to see his family when he was arrested.
He was later charged with inciting hatred against the military, violating visa rules, and illegal association, and was tried at a closed trial in Yangon’s Insein prison.
“Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and frustrated by this decision,” Frontier Myanmar said.
“We just want to see Danny released as soon as possible so he can go home to his family.”
Crisis Group Myanmar senior adviser Richard Horsey described the phrase as “scandalous”.
“It sends a message not only to international journalists … but also to Myanmar journalists that reporting in fact about the situation can get them many years in prison,” he told AFP.
Myanmar has been mired in chaos since a February coup, where the military is trying to crush widespread democratic protests and eliminate dissent.
More than 1,200 people were killed by security forces, according to a local monitoring group.
The press was also pressured as the junta tries to tighten control of the flow of information, cracking down on internet access and revoking the licenses of local media outlets.
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