A Daily Iberian alum who is working as an editor in Myanmar has been arrested, the latest in a series of government actions against journalists overseas in recent days.
Myanmar authorities detained Danny Fenster, who worked at The Daily Iberian from to August of 2017 to February 2018, at the Yangon International Airport as he was boarding an international flight to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“Myanmar authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Frontier Myanmar managing editor Danny Fenster and allow him to travel freely outside the country,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “This unlawful restriction of a foreign journalist’s freedom of movement is the latest grave threat to press freedom in Myanmar.”
Fenster is currently employed as the managing editor for Frontier Myanmar, a news magazine and website in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, which is in Southeast Asia. It shares borders with India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand.
A Detroit native, Fenster was attempting to fly home for a visit when he was arrested and sent to Insein Prison in Yangon, according to a Twitter post from Frontier Myanmar.
Fenster's brother, who still resides in Detroit, posted on Twitter that Danny had been detained Monday.
We’re absolutely stunned and extremely confused as to why Dan was detained," Bryan Fenster said. We’re grateful to his family in Yangon, the Embassy, his friends/co-workers at Frontier Myanmar and the many people on the ground who are helping him. We love you so much, Dan."
Bryan Fenster told The Associated Press that his brother had a passion for social justice issues.
“He has a fascination and passion for writing about folks who struggle and fight for social justice,” he said. “He was very interested in what was happening with Rohingya people there. It’s a delicate, complex situation.”
During his tenure at The Daily Iberian, Fenster won first place in the Louisiana Press Association's Best News Story category for a story on the families of murder victims still looking for closure years after losing their loved ones to violence.
Frontier Myanmar, where Danny Fenster has worked since August, is located in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. A military junta took power there in February and has arrested at least 80 journalists. Fenster is the third foreign journalist to be detained. Two others, Robert Bociaga of Poland and Yuki Kitazumi of Japan, have already been expelled.