US journalist working for Myanmar magazine detained at airport

By The Associated Press •

Yangon International Airport can be seen on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Yangon, Myanmar, as traffic police lead trucks carrying COVID-19 vaccines.

An American journalist working for a news magazine in Myanmar was detained Monday by the authorities there, his employers said.

Frontier Myanmar, which publishes in both English and Burmese and also online, said on Twitter that Danny Fenster, its managing editor, was detained at Yangon International Airport as he was preparing to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It said the magazine did not know why Fenster was detained and had not been able to contact him, but it understood that he had been taken to Insein Prison in Yangon, which over decades has housed thousands of political prisoners.

The junta that took power in February after the army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi has arrested about 80 journalists, roughly half of whom remain detained awaiting charges or trial.

Fenster is the third foreign journalist to be detained, after freelancers Robert Bociaga of Poland and Yuki Kitazumi of Japan, both of whom were expelled.

According to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which keeps a detailed tally of arrests and deaths since the military takeover, almost 4,300 people are in detention, including 95 who have already been sentenced.

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