U2 tweets support for journalist Danny Fenster ahead of Myanmar court hearing
Michigan native and journalist Danny Fenster is scheduled to face another hearing Thursday in Myanmar over his detention and imprisonment by authorities.
Fenster's detention, stemming from an arrest May 24 at Yangon International Airport as he was traveling to visit family in Huntington Woods, was extended June 17 for two weeks by a Myanmar court.
Relatives, lawmakers and U.S. officials have been working to secure his release.
Meanwhile, Fenster's situation has drawn attention from the acclaimed band U2.
On Wednesday, the group tweeted a Columbia Chronicle article on his plight.
"Journalism is not a crime," the group tweeted. "We join @RepAndyLevin
and @bryanfenster in urging the immediate release of journalist Danny Fenster from detainment in Myanmar and thank heroic organizations like @pressfreedom
for fighting to protect journalists everywhere -- #BringDannyHome."
Bryan Fenster thanked U2 in a tweet Wednesday evening.
"We believe that journalism, like music, makes the world a more connected place," he wrote. "You are proof of this and our family is truly grateful for your support."
Last week Fenster, 37, was able, for the first time since his arrest, to speak with and consult American officials at the embassy, his brother said.
"While we still don't know much, by all accounts, he seems to be in good form and unharmed," his brother Bryan said June 23 on Facebook.
"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."
Online news and business magazine Frontier Myanmar, where Fenster is managing editor, said he faces a charge that carries a potential three-year prison term.
The charge, used frequently against dissidents and journalists, criminalizes “any attempt to cause fear, spread false news, or agitate directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a government employee.” The magazine said it did not know the reason for the charge.
Staff Writer Mark Hicks and the Associated Press contributed.