In the United States we have the right to freedom of press, which is protected under the First Amendment. However, that right does not exist in many places around the world.
Danny Fenster is a journalist and Huntington Woods native who works with Frontier Myanmar — a news magazine based in Myanmar. On his way home to Michigan in May of 2021, he was arrested and denied bail for allegedly criticizing the Myanmar government.
Fenster was held in a seven-by-nine-foot cell for six month until his release that November.
“You start to go a little stir crazy staring at a wall, and then slowly, because you just can’t dwell on boredom, your mind starts entertaining itself in other ways.” — Danny Fenster, journalist
Listen: Danny Fenster recounts being detained in Myanmar.
Danny Fenster is a journalist who was imprisoned in Myanmar during a period of instability following a military coup that occurred in the country. Currently editing remotely from the U.S. for Frontier Myanmar, he says it was difficult to adjust to his life behind bars.
“You start to go a little stir crazy staring at a wall,” says Fenster, “and then slowly, because you just can’t dwell on boredom, your mind starts entertaining itself in other ways — and it’s just a slow process of, kind of, normalizing the situation.”
Fenster says its important to appreciate the freedoms in the U.S. that are often taken for granted.
“You need to be aware of how dangerous the situation in the United States is getting,” he says, “and you also have to be somewhat appreciative of the freedoms that I think we still have.”