Danny Fenster, a journalist with Myanmar’s Frontier magazine, has been jailed for 11 years by a court in the military-controlled country.
The 37-year-old was detained at Yangon airport in May, and found guilty on three charges, his employer said in a statement.
Frontier said the decision was announced outside Yangon’s Insein prison on Friday morning, following a trial closed to the press and the public.
The sentences – for incitement and contacting opposition groups declared illegal by the military – were the “harshest possible” under the law, it said.
BREAKING: A Myanmar junta court sentenced detained American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison on three charges on Friday, according to his employer, Frontier Myanmar. Our report is forthcoming. pic.twitter.com/agsavffqut— Myanmar Now (@Myanmar_Now_Eng) November 12, 2021
The ruling comes days after Bill Richardson, a former United States diplomat and hostage negotiator, met coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and after prosecutors targeted Fenster with additional charges of ‘terrorism’ and sedition.
The charges were connected to a claim that Fenster was working for Myanmar Now, even though he left the online media outlet in June last year.
Fenster joined Frontier, where he is managing editor, in July 2020.
Frontier noted that the court had disregarded key evidence, including tax records, which confirmed Fenster’s employment at the news magazine.