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Greste family appeals for journalist’s release as President Sisi suggests pardon

Greste family appeals for journalist’s release as President Sisi suggests pardon
November 25th, 2014
12:44 PM ET

Peter Greste has been in an Egyptian jail since he was arrested along with two other al Jazeera journalists in December 2013.

In June, he, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were sentenced to seven years behind bars after being convicted of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian government now considers a terrorist organization. They steadfastly refuted the charges.

Last week, the prospect that they could be released from prison was raised when President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told France 24 that he was considering a pardon for the journalists.

On the heels of that news, Greste’s grieving parents sent this statement exclusively to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:

We welcome any news and changes of attitude that might lead to Peter being released from prison. However, there is uncertainty and lack of clarity in the latest laws relating to foreign prisoner repatriation. Therefore, we are patiently moderating our expectations.

Nevertheless, two things are very clear.

1. Peter has been punished for merely practicing good and responsible journalism. He has not wronged anyone. None of his stories has been discredited. There is no credible evidence against him.

2. Peter was not, will not nor can be a threat to Egypt’s security or national interest. He was in Cairo for a three week appointment. He has no vested interest in Egyptian politics. He did not speak any Arabic. He is not a Moslem. He did not know his work colleagues prior to his arrival.

A side note – Amanpour will be hosting the 2014 International Press Freedom Awards, presented by the Committee to Protect Journalists. You can view their work here.


Filed under:  Egypt
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