Ex-US diplomat says Myanmar frees jailed American journalist
(AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson says American journalist Danny Fenster has been released from prison in Myanmar.
Richardson said in a statement Monday that Fenster had been released from prison and handed over to him in Myanmar and would be soon on his way home via Qatar.
“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” Richardson said. “We are so grateful that Danny will finally be able to reconnect with his loved ones, who have been advocating for him all this time, against immense odds.”
Fenster, the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, was convicted Friday of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations and sentenced to 11 years hard labor.
Fenster’s sentence was the harshest punishment yet among the seven journalists known to have been convicted since the military took power.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned the decision, saying in a statement that it was “an unjust conviction of an innocent person.”
Richardson says he negotiated Fenster’s release during a recent visit to Myanmar when he held face-to-face meetings with the military leader who ousted the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in February.