The family of an American journalist detained in Myanmar is begging the Biden administration for help in obtaining his release.
Danny Fenster, a graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College, was arrested on May 24 as he was preparing to leave the country on a flight back home.
His family says that a curiosity about places led him to study journalism.
“He has this amazing way of investing all of himself into a story,” his brother Bryan said.
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Most recently, Danny was working in Myanmar as the editor of an independent newspaper. He was looking to come back to Chicago when he was taken into custody.
According to experts, Fenster is one of at least 40 journalists currently jailed in the nation in southeast Asia. Myanmar recently underwent a military-led coup, which overthrew the democratically-elected government.
Fenster’s family says they have not heard from him since he was taken into custody, and they maintain that he has done nothing wrong.
“What’s happening to him is part of a bigger story about democracy and the free press,” Bryan said.
Bryan Fenster is now leading the fight to bring his brother home. The family has set up a website featuring t-shirts and news updates, and they’ve been working hard to contact as many officials as they can for help.
“We are in constant communication with the State Department, and with the embassy in Myanmar,” Bryan said. “We are urging the Biden-Harris administration to act quicker.
In a statement, the State Department says that it has “pressed the military regime to release Daniel immediately,” and says it will continue to do so “until he is allowed to return home safely.”
Fenster’s family are urging Chicago residents, and others around the country, to contact lawmakers, urging them to help facilitate Danny’s return to the U.S.