News / Asia

Parents of Australian Journalist Jailed in Egypt ‘Shattered’

Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste looks out from the defendant's cage during a sentencing hearing in a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2014.
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste looks out from the defendant's cage during a sentencing hearing in a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2014.
Reuters
The parents of Australian journalist Peter Greste, one of three Al Jazeera journalists jailed for seven years each by an Egyptian judge, have called the verdict an attack on free speech everywhere that has left them “shattered”.
 
The three journalists all denied the charge of working with the now banned Muslim Brotherhood. They have been held at Egypt's notorious Tora Prison for six months, with the case becoming a rallying point for rights groups and news organizations around the world.
 
“This man, our son, Peter, is an award-winning journalist. He is not a criminal. He is not a criminal,” his father, Juris Greste, told a news conference in Brisbane on Tuesday.
 
“To us, it is not just affecting the Greste family. We put it to you that it is also a slap in the face and a kick in the groin to Australia as well as all fair-minded people around the world,” he added.
 
Greste was sentenced along with Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed and Canadian-Egyptian national Mohamed Fahmy, Cairo bureau chief of Al Jazeera English.
 
Cairo defended the journalists' convictions - for aiding a “terrorist organization” - and rejected the widespread condemnation as “interference in its internal affairs”.
 
The Greste family said that they had not yet decided what their next step would be in attempting to free their son and his colleagues.
 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott struck a cautious tone on Tuesday, somewhat softening his government's furious initial reaction on Monday, perhaps in the hopes of securing their release through diplomatic or other extra-judicial channels.
 
“I do understand that once the court system has done its work, there are options for presidential acts - presidential clemency, presidential pardons and so on - and that's why I'm not in the business of being critical of the government as such,” Abbott told reporters in Canberra.
 
“What we don't want to do is engage in unhelpful megaphone diplomacy because that won't do Peter Greste any good, it won't do his two Al Jazeera colleagues any good.”
 
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Egypt's foreign minister to register his “serious displeasure” at the “chilling, draconian sentences”.
 
The three men were detained in late December and charged with helping “a terrorist group” - a reference to the Muslim brotherhood - by broadcasting lies that harmed national security and supplying money, equipment and information to a group of Egyptians.
 
The Brotherhood was banned and declared a terrorist group after the army deposed elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July following mass protests against his rule. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful organization.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Waqar Khan
June 23, 2014 11:34 PM
Stop all the aid to Egypt; every country on the Earth should stop the trade with Egypt, Every country should freeze the Egypt assets....and protest the current dictatorship.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid