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American Journalist Detained By Burmese Military Government

On Wednesday, the Burmese military government charged Fenster, an American journalist, with terrorism and incitement. He has been remanded in custody for more than five months. The court will start hearing the case on November 16th. If convicted, he may face life imprisonment.

Myanmar Frontier, a well-known online media in Myanmar, said on May 24th this year that Fenster (Danny Fenster), an American journalist and executive editor of the website, was arrested by the police at Yangon International Airport that morning when he was about to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then transferred to Insheng Prison in Yangon. At that time, Fenster had worked for "Burma Frontier" for more than a year, and he went to Kuala Lumpur to reunite with his family.

Fenster's Burmese lawyer, Danzong, said that the military cited the "Anti-Terrorism Law" and "Criminal Law" to accuse Fenster of two crimes. The maximum penalty of the Anti-Terrorism Law is life imprisonment. At present, he has been tried on charges of instigation against the military government and violation of immigration regulations.

After Myanmar's military launched a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government on February 1st this year, the military government repeatedly accused media workers of fanning the flames, which led to one after other anti-coup demonstrations across the country. Therefore, it forcibly shut down many dissident media and arrested and detained journalists.

The number of Burmese journalists arrested by military police after the coup is unknown. Fenster, 37, is the fourth foreign journalist to be arrested.