Egypt Releases Al Jazeera Reporter Peter Greste

Al Jazeera journalist, Peter Greste, who has been imprisoned for 400 days in Cairo due to alleged support for the Muslem Brotherhood and spreading of false information, has been released by the Egyptian authorities.

Family Of Peter Greste Addresses Media (Foreign Policy)

Last Sunday, February 1st, Abdelfatá al Sisi, president of Egypt, approved the release of Al Jazeera’s journalist, Peter Greste, whose freedom had been requested previously by the Australian authorities.

Peter Greste, as well as his two camrades, Baher Mohamed and Muhamed Fahmy, was arrested in 2013 due to false accusations related to the diffusion of uncertain information and collaboration with the Muslem Brotherhood, an organization which is nationally considered to be a terrorist threat.

The decision made by the president of Egypt, in response to the Australian authorities’ request of freeing Peter Greste, was based on a recent decree enacted by the political leader, al Sisi, in the month of December of 2014. Such act establishes imprisoned foreign nationals have the possibility to be deported to their country of origin despite the judicial process that might be taking place during a certain period of time. It is yet to be seen if Peter Greste will be judged in his country of origin or Egypt, where the crime he is accused of committing occured.

Regarding this controversial case, media network Al Jazeera was not targeted by chance, as there has been tensions among the government and the Qatari Broacaster since its foundation in 1966. Many international organizations, known for promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have denounced this event claiming it is a clear violation of the main postulates of Human Rights. Although there is  an extended worldwide awareness of this story, many others, like Peter Greste, who have been imprisoned for attending protest marchs or being keen to the Muslem Brotherhood, have gone unnoticed. In fact – and according to the Committee To Protect Journalists – Egypt is the sixth leading jailer of journalists in the world and the third most dangerous country in the world.

On one hand, the 49-year-old journalist, Peter Greste, who has an Australian citizenship, will be deported to Sydney in a near future. On the other hand, Cairo’s local sources have revealed that Mohamed Fahmy has a dual citizenship, Egyptian and Canadian, which would allow him to gain freedom and the possibility to be deported to Canada if he decided to give up his Egyptian citizenship. Unlike Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed does not share the same fate as his colleagues, he has an Egyptian citizenship and does not have the chance to be deported back to a foreign country.

"Peter Greste was greeted with cheers from supporters a short time after arriving back in Australia". (ABC News)

“Peter Greste was greeted with cheers from supporters a short time after arriving back in Australia”.
(ABC News)

This piece of news has triggered a great controversy in social networks all over the world. The circumstances in which Al Jazeera’s journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Beher Mohamed, have been put into has built up a public opinion that clashes with the decisions made by the Egyptian government when it comes to judging the imprisoned.

The, now free, Australian journalist, Peter Greste, along with Al Jazeera staff, has stated that he will not allow such miscarriage of justice to take place and will fight injustice to free his two partners, Mohamed Fahmy and Beher Mohamed, from alledged charges. Greste family members, Juris (father), Lois (mother) and Andrew (brother), are keen to the cause, as Andrew Greste affirmed: “Peter won’t rest until they’re released from prison and we hope that will follow in the very near future.” 

Maddalen Alberdi Parsons

Silvia Prada Herrero


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