Lawyer: American journalist in prison seems discouraged

US journalist Danny Fenster (pictured), jailed in Myanmar for nearly four months awaiting trial, appeared disheartened during a hearing, his lawyer said.

Fenster has been charged with incitement – spreading inflammatory information – an offense for which he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

The prosecution does not specify what he is accused of having done.

The army-installed government has sought to curb independent news media by revoking their licenses and arresting journalists.

Fenster is being held at Insein Prison in Yangon, an overcrowded facility that has housed political prisoners for decades.

Lawyer Than Zaw Aung said Fenster appeared demoralized when he spoke to him on a video conference during Monday’s hearing, his first opportunity to do so in more than a month.

“Her hair has gotten longer. He sounded disappointed and he told me in a frustrated tone that ‘I have nothing to say’, ”the lawyer said.

“I asked him if he had been vaccinated and he said no. His words showed he was not feeling well. “

Fenster said in mid-July that he believed he had contracted Covid-19 and had not received the drugs he requested. Prison officials denied he was infected.

“We are very concerned for Danny’s physical and mental health, especially given his behavior at today’s hearing,” said Thomas Kean, editor-in-chief of Frontier. – AP

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Bernice Dyer

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