Freed Journalist from Egypt “will not rest” until Colleagues Released
Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste was released from prison in Egypt and returned safely to his native Australia. However his colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have yet to be released. The three men were accused of aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the military in 2013, as well as spreading false news.
Fahmy, who holds dual Egyptian and Canadian citizenship, could be freed if he renounces his Egyptian nationality, presidential sources said. But there are still concerns about Mohamed who is an Egyptian with no dual nationality.
Greste has expressed his concerns about his imprisoned colleagues, at a press conference Greste’s brother Andrew said, “We want to acknowledge that Peter’s two other colleagues are still there.” His father echoed this saying he felt very deeply for the defendants
Greste expressed his thanks to all those who had supported his release.
He had told the Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a telephone conversation that he was eager to return to his family in Brisbane.
“He was immensely relieved and he was desperate to come home to Australia and reunite with his family,” said Ms Bishop.
“From my discussion with him, he was very keen to be back on a beach and lying in the sun in Australia.”
The three journalists had denied the charges against them and called their trial a sham. Fahmy and Greste were sentenced to seven years in prison and Mohamed to 10. Their convictions were overturned on 1 January, but the men remained in custody until a retrial.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond welcomed the decision to release Greste, however he expressed concerns that Mr Greste’s two colleagues remained in jail, stating, “It also appears that charges remain against the other journalists convicted in absentia, including British nationals Dominic Kane and Sue Turton.”
Mr Hammond said he called on the Egyptian authorities to review their sentences “as a matter of urgency”.
“I call on the Egyptian government to take further action to ensure the release of other journalists from prison, to release political detainees and to relax restrictions on civil society”.