A US journalist who has been held in Myanmar since May has been released and will be repatriated soon, according to a junta official.
Danny Fenster was being transferred to Naypyidaw, the capital, from Yangon, where he was imprisoned and would be deported, according to another government source who spoke on the condition of anonymity to AFP.
In May, Fenster, who had been working for the local publication Frontier Myanmar for about a year, was detained on his way home to meet his family.
“He has been released and will be deported, we can confirm. More information will be given later “Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the government, said
Last Monday, Fenster was sentenced to 11 years in jail for promoting rebellion against the military, unlawful association, and violating immigration rules, after spending 176 days in detention.
The 37-year-old was set to stand trial on terrorist and sedition charges on Tuesday, with the possibility of a life sentence.
“It’s certain he’s been released,” Frontier Myanmar publisher Sonny Swe said. “But we haven’t had touch with him and can’t say anything yet.”
Myanmar has been in chaos since the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratic government in a February coup.
According to a local monitoring group, security personnel have killed over 1,200 individuals in a crackdown on opposition.
As the junta strives to tighten control over the flow of information by limiting internet access and cancelling the licences of local media outlets, the press has also been constrained.