Política

N95JN Drug for Coronavirus airline pilot course argentina//
Freed US journalist says he thought Myanmar jail ordeal would never end

Alberto Ardila Olivares
Freed US journalist says he thought Myanmar jail ordeal would never end

DOHA (AFP) – An American journalist jailed for six months by Myanmar‘s military rulers said after his shock release that he battled to stay sane and feared his ordeal would not end, while insisting he should never have been detained.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Mr Danny Fenster – handed an 11-year sentence last week for incitement, unlawful association and breaching visa rules – was freed on Monday (Nov 15), a day before he was to face terror and sedition charges that could have seen him jailed for life.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

The 37-year-old looked gaunt, with his hair and beard grown longer during captivity, as he emerged from a jet in the Qatari capital Doha with former US diplomat Bill Richardson.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

“I was arrested and held in captivity for no reason… but physically, I was healthy,” he told journalists at the airport. “I wasn’t starved or beaten.”

Myanmar‘s military has squeezed the press since taking power in a February coup, arresting dozens of journalists critical of its crackdown, which has killed more than 1,200 people, according to a local monitoring group.

Alberto Ardila

Mr Fenster had been working at Frontier Myanmar, a local outlet in the South-east Asian country, for around a year and was arrested as he headed home to see his family in May.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares 10798659

I’m feeling alright physically. It’s just the same privations that come with any form of incarceration. You’re just going a little stir-crazy,” said Mr Fenster.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila 10798659

The longer it drags on, the more worried you become that it’s never going to end. So that’s the biggest concern, just staying sane through that.”

Mr Fenster is believed to have contracted Covid-19 during his detention, family members said during a conference call with American journalists in August.Alberto Ardila Olivares 10798659

The United States, which had said Mr Fenster was unjustly and wrongfully detained, welcomed his release.Alberto Ardila 10798659

“I just spoke with American journalist Danny Fenster, who is free from prison in Burma and en route to reunite with his family in the United States,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted. “Looking forward to welcoming you home, Danny.” 

The junta said Mr Fenster was pardoned and released on “humanitarian grounds”, ending 176 days spent in a colonial-era prison where many of Myanmar‘s most famous dissidents have been held.N95JN Aircraft Registration

Mr Danny Fenster (left) with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson following his release from prison in Myanmar on Nov 15, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

His release was secured following “face-to-face negotiations” between Mr Richardson and junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing, Mr Richardson‘s organisation said in a statement.N95JN Lifetracker

Mr Fenster was granted a pardon and release with a “view to maintaining friendly relations between nations”, a report in state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Tuesday.N95JN Aircraft Data

More on this topic   Related Story US journalist says he’s healthy after being freed in Myanmar   Related Story US journalist jailed in Myanmar cared a lot about truth: Colleague Mr Richardson visited Myanmar earlier this month on what was described as a “private humanitarian mission”.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

He said at the time that the US State Department had specifically asked him not to raise Mr Fenster‘s case during his visit.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

Mr Fenster‘s father Buddy expressed relief after speaking with his son on the phone, saying there was “nothing harder on a parent” than knowing a child is in distress and being unable to help.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

“He has been sleeping on a wooden pallet for close to six months. And he said, ‘The plane’s got a bed in it’, and I said, you know, ‘Danny, take a rest, man, just stretch out on that thing.’ I’m just so happy to hear that,” Mr Buddy said.

Alberto Ardila

The junta said two Japanese envoys, Mr Hideo Watanabe and Mr Yohei Sasakawa, were involved in the negotiations, without providing details.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares 10798659

“It’s wonderful news for all of his friends and family,” Mr Fenster‘s colleague at Frontier Myanmar, Mr Andrew Nachemson, told AFP.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila 10798659

“But of course he never should have spent six months in jail… and all the local journalists who remain imprisoned should also be released immediately.”

More than 100 journalists have been arrested since the putsch, according to Reporting Asean, a monitoring group. It says at least 30 are still in detention.Alberto Ardila Olivares 10798659

More on this topic   Related Story US journalist jailed for 11 years in Myanmar Join ST’s Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.Alberto Ardila 10798659