After a month in a Myanmar prison, and after tireless efforts by family and American officials, the U.S. Embassy has finally been able to talk with Metro Detroit journalist Danny Fenster.
"We received word very late last night that consular access for Danny was (finally) granted!," Fenster's older rother Bryan posts Wednesday on social media: "He was able to speak on the phone with the American Embassy in Yangon and while we still don't know much, by all accounts, he seems to be in good form and unharmed. Thank goodness."
"We're cautiously optimistic that we're on the right track and hopefully we will be able to speak with him soon. One thing is for sure, we will not stop until we #BringDannyHome -- Please keep the faith and stay with us!!!"
Danny Fenster, who grew up in Huntington Woods and lived in Detroit's Midtown and Corktown neighborhoods before leaving the state to pursue his journalism career, is the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, an online publication and magazine written in Burmese and English.
The 37-year-old was arrested at the Myanmar airport May 24 while trying to fly home to visit family. He made a court appearance last week and has another scheduled next Thursday. He's under investigation as a result of a new ban on "false news" or causing "fear to a group of citizens or to the public."
His father Buddy on Thursday morning told Deadline Detroit he found some solace in the news, but remains concerned.
"I can only say 31 days into his imprisonment we finally have proof Danny is healthy," he said. "But I worry about the emotional and mental toll this is having on him."
Congressman Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Hills, who's in regular contact with the Fenster family, echoed those sentiments.
I was relieved that Danny sounds physically healthy and unharmed, but we continue to demand that our embassy get to see Danny in person, and I share the Fensters’ concern about the mental and spiritual toll this unjust imprisonment must be taking on Danny. #BringDannyHome https://t.co/LGz3oLrvGD— Rep. Andy Levin (@RepAndyLevin) June 24, 2021
On Wednesday, Bryan Fenster and his parents met in Lansing with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. They also testified about Danny Fenster's plight before a House committee.