SPJ calls for reverse sentence for US journalist Fenster
Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ National President, 317-361-4134, email@example.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS The Society of Professional Journalists is shocked that the Myanmar military junta sentenced American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison.
Fenster was pulled off his flight to Detroit in May on charges of "working for a banned media outlet." At the time, he was with a legally registered news organization, Frontier. He had previously worked for Myanmar Now, an independent news site eventually banned by the military junta.
New charges were added on Nov. 10 that included sedition and terrorism.
The trial took place behind closed doors. Fenster was denied access to his lawyer and U.S. consular services, a fundamental international right under numerous treaties.
"SPJ joined with the rest of the world in condemning the arrest of Fenster in May," said SPJ National President Rebecca Aguilar. "Now we join with them again in denouncing this horrific and unfair sentencing."
SPJ International Community Co-Chair Dan Kubiske added, "No person should ever be arrested, let alone tried and convicted for just doing journalism."
SPJ calls on the Myanmar military junta to reverse its court's ruling and return Fenster to his family in Detroit.
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.