Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Journalist Freed

Published:Monday | February 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Peter Greste, an Al Jazeera journalist who was detained in Egypt for 400 days, has been deported.

Sources said that Greste boarded an Egypt Air flight yesterday accompanied by his brother. He is stated to be in good health.

Two other Al Jazeera journalists - Baher Mohamed, a producer, and the channel's Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy - still remain imprisoned in Egypt.

Greste's deportation came amid a growing chorus of worldwide condemnation over the detention of the three journalists.

Al Jazeera Media Network welcomed Greste's release and demanded the release of his colleagues.

Al Jazeera said the campaign to free its journalists in Egypt will not end till the others have been released. It said that all three have to be exonerated, and the convictions against its other journalists tried in absentia also have to be lifted.

 

INTEGRITY ENHANCED

 

Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network said: "We're pleased for Peter, and his family that they are to be reunited. It has been an incredible and unjustifiable ordeal for them, and they have coped with incredible dignity. Peter's integrity is not just intact, but has been further enhanced by the fortitude and sacrifice he has shown for his profession of informing the public.

"We will not rest until Baher and Mohamed also regain their freedom. The Egyptian authorities have it in their power to finish this properly today, and that is exactly what they must do."

The managing director of Al Jazeera English, Al Anstey, said he was relieved Greste was freed and on his way home to be reunited with his family, but spoke of the need to free Baher and Mohamed.

"But we've got to focus that Baher and Mohamed are still behind bars, and seven of their colleagues that were sentenced to ten years in absentia are still sentenced today."

Greste, Baher and Mohamed had been falsely accused of colluding with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in a case that sparked international condemnation.

After their conviction in June last year, the men were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail. On January 1, Egypt's Court of Cassation overturned the sentences and ordered a retrial, but there is still no indication of when that trial will begin.