LANSING, Mich., June 24, 2021 – The House adopted House Resolution 118, which urges the Biden administration and U.S. Department of State to act with the utmost urgency to secure the release and safe return of Danny Fenster – an American journalist and Huntington Woods resident who was detained by the military junta in Myanmar.
“I am thankful my colleagues have joined me in calling for the Biden administration to act swiftly to pressure the Myanmar military government to ensure Danny’s safe return to his friends and family,” said state Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park), whose district includes Huntington Woods. “We will continue to do everything we can to support the Fenster family during this time.”
Fenster, the managing editor of independent news outlet Frontier Myanmar, was detained at Yangon International Airport on May 24 when he attempted to fly back home to his family following the recent military coup in the region. Fenster’s friends and his family have been unable to obtain clear information about why he was detained.
“We’re heartbroken over the unlawful detention of my brother,” said Danny’s brother, Bryan. “He complied with Burmese law, working for an accredited outlet with a valid publishing license, and retained current employment papers and visas. His only crime was being an objective journalist and speaking truth to injustice.”
Earlier this month, the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 61, which also called for the release of Fenster.
“Journalism is not a crime,” said state Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), sponsor of the resolution. “Our freedom of press ensures the security of journalists here at home, and it must also compel us to extol those virtues around the globe. With the swift passage of Michigan House and Senate resolutions, the state Legislature is sending a clear statement: Danny Fenster should be released safely, immediately and unconditionally. We stand in solidarity with the Fenster family and join the efforts to bring Danny home.”
Fenster is set to appear in court on July 1, according to Frontier Myanmar.
“We must bring Danny Fenster home,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “My heart is with Danny’s family as they await his return, and I am proud to see adoption of Senate Resolution 61 and House Resolution 118, both of which are strong reaffirmations of Michigan’s steadfast commitment to the freedom of press. We are standing up for our values and making our expectation clear: Danny Fenster must be released safely and immediately. We will continue putting on pressure and working with the federal government until he is back home, in Michigan, with his loved ones.”
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