American journalist Danny Fenster sentenced to 11 years in prison

Myanmar: According to Danny Fenster’s lawyer, a military court has given American journalist Danny Fenster 11 years sentence in prison.

Danny Fenster, aged 37-years from Detroit, Michigan, has been kept under arrest in Myanmar for about more than five months. Bail has been denied in his case and is now held in Insein Prison, in Yangon, since his arrest on May 24th.
At a court hearing, his lawyer Than Zaw Aung stated that Fenster was found guilty of three charges brought against him by the Myanmar military, which had took over the country in a coup on February 1.
The charges for which he was taken into custody  include visa breaches, unlawful association with an illegal group and incitement under section 505a of Myanmar’s Penal Code, which makes it a crime to publish or circulate comments that “cause fear” or spread “false news.” Fenster was also given a fine in local currency equivalent to $50.
Fenster is just one of as many as a 100 journalists which have been detained since the coup took place. About 30 remain are still in prison.

According to his lawyer, he was hit recently with two new criminal charges under the country’s sedition and terrorism laws, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, .

They include charges under Section 124a of Myanmar’s Penal Code, which mandates seven to 20 years imprisonment for attempting to bring hatred, contempt or disaffection toward the government and military.
The other charge is under Section 50a of the Counter Terrorism Law, which makes it a crime to have contact with officially designated “terrorist” groups. Under the terrorism charge, Fenster could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison if convicted, according to his lawyer and Myanmar’s sentencing guidelines.
These charges are to be heard separately.
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