A court in Myanmar, controlled by the junta, has sentenced Danny Finster to 11 years in prison. His lawyer and employer confirm this.
Finster’s lawyer confirmed the conviction to the Reuters news agency, but declined to give details. Finster was found guilty of provoking the military regime and violating immigration law.
“There is absolutely no basis whatsoever to convict Danny,” said Thomas Kean, editor-in-chief of Frontier Myanmar newspaper. The United States has been campaigning for the release of Finster, imprisoned since May 24.
Then he wanted to travel from Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, via Kuala Lumpur to his hometown of Detroit for a family reunion.
But Finster never made that trip and has been in the infamous Insein (“crazy”) prison in Yangon ever since. She didn’t steal his name because she’s reputed to be hell on earth.
Insein Prison is a dilapidated 134-year-old detention center dating back to the British colonial era. It is planned to accommodate 5,000 inmates, but more than twice as many people – many of them dissidents and political activists – have been locked up in humiliating conditions since the February coup. Ex-prisoners speak of constant beatings, lack of sanitation and disgusting food.
As of this week, Finster faces two other charges, without explanation from the authorities: incitement and violations of the Terrorism Act. Each of them is liable to imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Finster is one of several journalists imprisoned since the military coup in Myanmar. More than 1,200 civilians have been killed since seizing power in February.
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