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Current Affairs

US journalist jailed in Myanmar

Date: 15 November 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

US journalist Danny Fenster has been sentenced to 11-year jail by a court in Myanmar. He is the managing editor of online magazine Frontier Myanmar.

 

Background

Fenster had three charges and was sentenced under the Unlawful Associations Act and the Immigration Act.

 

Details

Apart from the existing charges, two more were brought against Fenster that includes terrorism and sedition, for which the trial will begin on November 16.

 

Danny Fenster case

  • Fenster was arrested at the Yangon Airport while he was going to Kuala Lumpur to catch a flight to the US.

  • The military government believes that Fenster worked for Myanmar Now, an independent media organization banned by the government.

  • He has been charged under section 505-A of the Penal Code, which was added through an amendment in February 2021 and used against journalists and activists.

 

The charges

Under section 505-A, any individual can be punished who “causes or intends to cause fear to a group of citizens or to the public”, or “causes or intends to commit or to agitate directly or indirectly criminal offence against a Government employee, any kind of Government employees or Government employees” or “causes or intends to spread false news, knowing or believing that it is untrue”.

 

Emergency in Myanmar

  • The military junta seized power in a coup on February 1. The de-facto leader of the government, Aung San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest.

  • The military believed that Suu Kyi had employed illegal means to win the elections through a landslide victory.