Conflicts & War

Detained US journalist charged in Myanmar court

Bangkok, June 18 (EFE).- United States’ citizen and journalist Danny Fenster, who has been under arrest in Myanmar since May 24, was on Friday formally charged in a court with violating an article of the penal code which carries prison sentences of up to three years.

News website Frontier Myanmar, for which Fenster works as an editor, said that the journalist has been charged with violating article 505a, which criminalizes spreading false information, stoking fear or inciting a crime against a government employee.

The article was introduced by the military junta and has been widely used against journalists and activists since the Feb. 1 coup.

After being presented at a court in Yangon, Fenster was sent back to the Insein prison and will next appear before the judge on Jul. 1.

More than 80 journalists have been arrested in Myanmar since the coup that ousted the democratic government led by Aung Saun Suu Kyi, out of which 40 continue to be in prison, according to data provided by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

Fenster was arrested when he was about to board a plane at the Yangon international airport.

Three other foreign journalists, US citizen Nathan Maung, Poland’s Robert Bociaga and Japanese Yuki Kitazumi had been arrested earlier before eventually being deported to their respective countries.

The military has justified the coup saying the Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) committed fraud in the election held in November last year.

However, international observers have found no wrongdoing in the elections, which the NLD swept as it did in 2015.


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