US journalist detained in Myanmar released - junta

US journalist detained in Myanmar released - junta

This undated file handout photograph received by AFP in June 2021 courtesy of the Fenster family shows US journalist Danny Fenster at an undisclosed location. (AFP)
This undated file handout photograph received by AFP in June 2021 courtesy of the Fenster family shows US journalist Danny Fenster at an undisclosed location. (AFP)

A US journalist detained in Myanmar since May has been released and will be deported soon, a junta spokesman told AFP on Monday.

Danny Fenster was being taken to the capital Naypyidaw from Yangon where he was jailed and will be deported, another government source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Fenster, who had been working for local outlet Frontier Myanmar for around a year, was arrested as he headed home to see his family in May.

"We can confirm that he has been released and will be deported. Detail will be released later," spokesman Zaw Min Tun said.

Fenster, who spent 176 days in detention, was sentenced to 11 years in prison last week for encouraging dissent against the military, unlawful association and breaching immigration law.

The 37-year-old was due to go on trial Tuesday on charges of terrorism and sedition, which could have seen him jailed for life.

"It's certain he is released, but haven't got contact with him and can't tell anything yet," the publisher of Frontier Myanmar, Sonny Swe, said.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military seized power in a February coup and ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government.

More than 1,200 people have been killed by security forces in a crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.

The press has also been squeezed as the junta tries to tighten control over the flow of information, throttling internet access and revoking the licences of local media outlets.

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