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Free Danny Fenster

CNN "Reliable Sources" Interview with Rose and Bud Fenster They Call It ‘Insane’: Where Myanmar Sends Political Prisoners ‘The darkest days are coming’: Myanmar’s journalists suffer at hands of junta


ZAK: 36 days ago, Danny Fenster was detained and thrown in jail in Myanmar without a charge, without access to lawyer and without a phone call to his family. He has subsequently been charged under penal code 505 a which essentially makes it a crime to practice independent journalism. Danny's family still have not been able to talk to him. It was just last week that he was finally granted a phone call to the American embassy in Yangon. Danny has a hearing this Thursday where he faces as much as three years in prison. Again, the crime being practicing independent journalism. Danny is a friend of mine. I've known him and his family for nearly all my life. But even if you don't know Danny. You should care about this story. I've put a bunch of links to learn more in the show notes. I hope you'll take a few minutes to learn more and then tell your friends and family. For now, though, I'm honored to get some advice from The Fensters. Danny's mom Rose. His dad, buddy and his brother Bryan.

ZAK: You three are going through a living nightmare. Have you noticed something that people say that is very helpful or something that people say that isn't helpful. Cause a lot of times we just don't know how to engage with people suffering a tragedy.

ROSE: I can speak. Especially from my hospice nursing experience and dealing with life and death and family and all that. I mean, it's definitely some people walk toward you with the right words. Some walk toward you with...they don't know what to say. It might agitate you but you've got to realize that they're coming from a space of love and trying to hold a space for you of love. But people also need to realize, I guess, that sometimes in these situations you don't have to say anything. Just be present and a hug, a look is helpful if you don't know the right words.

BRYAN: Yeah, I think just being there really. Showing up, a hug. Don't get me wrong the meal train has been delightful and people going out of their way to do stuff, obviously, just the simple things, really. Knocking on the door, smiling, giving hugs. That's been going a long way for me.

BUDDY: You know, it's funny, a lot of people they mention you something like, "I don't know what I would do! I would be losing my mind!" I just smile to myself cause it's like, you don't know what you would do and I don't know if you'd lose your mind. I'm not losing my mind. I'm angry at the unfairness of it. It's a parent, knee-jerk reaction to say something like that and I don't know if I'm gaining anything from it or not, but I think to myself, you really don't know until it happens to you. No one prepares for this kind of thing. Don't bring me food. Just sit down and talk for a minute. That's nice. I appreciate that. I'm not as social as her and Bryan. I'm the quiet guy here but it's very appreciated when someone...doesn't even have to be related to what's going on. Just to talk. Say hi, how you doing.

ROSE: And in multiple texts that we're getting and people every couple days people check in and say sending love and prayers and no reply needed. So, that's nice because it's hard to reply to everybody but you care about everybody that's caring for you.

BRYAN: And as exhausting as it is to keep talking about this, I find myself comforting my own self by comforting others cause people don't know what to say and I enjoy very much being like, it's ok, come here and let me get my arms around you. Let's talk about it. It's alright. It's a lot of work but it makes me feel better at the same time.

ZAK: To follow Danny's sign a petition to pressure the Biden administration to secure Danny's release and to learn more about sweet, brilliant, Danny Fenster...visit

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