An American journalist who was detained and jailed in Myanmar was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Journalist Danny Fenster was found guilty of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations, and violating visa regulations and he faces additional charges, including treason and terrorism, according to his lawyer, Than Zaw Aung, the AP reported. Fenster works as a managing editor for the Frontier Myanmar online magazine.
“It’s clear that Danny is being made an example of, and what it shows is that the junta do not care what the international community thinks,” Human Rights Watch Myanmar researcher Manny Maung said, according to the AP.
“They would do as they want, and this is one example of how they are basically showing the international community that they cannot be held accountable,” Maung added, the AP reported.
Fenster was arrested before boarding a flight to Detroit at the Yangon International Airport on May 24, according to the AP. He is held at the Insein Prison in Yangon where he also had his closed trial.
The junta, Myanmar’s military government, has restricted journalists and most media outlets in the country, the AP reported. Around 30 journalists are still in jail and four who were convicted were released on Oct. 21 in a mass amnesty event.
Other media outlets have continued online operations without licenses and tried to evade junta officials, according to the AP.
At least seven journalists have been convicted of crimes since the military coup in February, according to the AP. The junta has ignored U.S. sanctions and won’t work with Southeast Asian officials to fix Myanmar’s political situation.
More than 1,200 people died and around 10,000 were arrested during widespread protests against the junta takeover where officials used deadly force, the AP reported. Citizens have since formed armed resistance groups with ethnic minorities around the country, threatening to bring the nation into a civil war.
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