Detained metro Detroit journalist Danny Fenster faces new charge in Myanmar

(WWJ) -- Detained American journalist and metro Detroit native Danny Fenster is facing another charge following a ninth court hearing in Myanmar on Monday.

During Monday’s hearing, Fenster -- who had been previously charged with incitement -- learned of a new criminal charge of unlawful association, which has commonly been brought against other reporters covering rebel groups in the southeast Asian country.

The 37-year-old Huntington Woods native has been jailed since May 24, when he was arrested at Yangon International Airport while trying to fly home to visit his family in Michigan.

Authorities have still not disclosed exactly what Fenster is accused of doing, though last month a Major General in the army said he was “doing more than a journalist’s work,” but he did not elaborate. To date, no formal evidence against Fenster has been presented.

Fenster has maintained his innocence over the last four months in Insein Prison and denied any wrongdoing.

His brother, Bryan Fenster, spoke with WWJ Monday and said their family continues to go through “ups and downs.”

“Almost two weeks ago we had a phone call and he was pretty down. It was like the day after his last hearing,” Bryan Fenster said. “We actually had a call with him this past Thursday night and he sounded a lot better. Surely, the longer this goes on, it’s just more up and down.”

The Fenster family has remained hopeful throughout the ordeal and Bryan Fenster says they will continue to do so, even though it’s not clear what comes next.

“We’re waiting for confirmation on his next hearing. Again, we just gotta stay hopeful. He’s back into court. Hopefully that’s a good sign that the process can play out and we will just continue to stay hopeful and see what happens.”

Fenster’s trial dates have repeatedly been pushed back over the last few months, most recently on Sept. 20, when authorities scheduled him to appear via video conference on Monday.