A US journalist currently held in Myanmar on various charges now faces two new charges of terrorism and sedition filed in a Yangon court on Tuesday, according to his lawyer.
Danny Fenster, managing editor of the Yangon-based online news magazine Frontier Myanmar, has been in custody since May 24, when he was detained at Yangon International Airport before a flight to the United States and initially charged with incitement Was. allegedly spreading false or inflammatory information.
Fenster has since been accused of violating the Colonial-era Unlawful Union Act of allegedly contacting opposition groups deemed illegal by the ruling military junta, and violating immigration laws. Advocacy groups say the Unlawful Union Act has been used in the 1990s to arbitrarily arrest political activists and is now being enforced by the current military junta.
Fenster’s lawyer Than Jao Aung said the new charges of terrorism and sedition that were filed against his client could face a total of 30 years in prison for Fenster if convicted of both charges. That would be, Than Jo Aung said, on top of a combined 11 years in prison under the previous three charges.
Than Jaw Aung said Fenster’s arrest is based on his brief employment as a copy editor with online news service Myanmar Now, which he left last year before joining Frontier Myanmar magazine.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military toppled the civilian government on February 1 and arrested several of its leaders, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
The military junta claimed the election results were fraud, a charge dismissed by the country’s election commission. According to a local watchdog group, an estimated 1,200 civilians have been killed in violent clashes between the military and civilians, who have led mass demonstrations against the junta.
Some information for this report has been received from the Associated Press and the agency France-Presse.