Latvian-Australian journalist Peter Greste  receives a kiss from his mother Lois and father Juris upon his return home at Brisbane International Airport, early February 5, 2015 | Photo: RIAN/REUTERS
Latvian-Australian journalist Peter Greste receives a kiss from his mother Lois and father Juris upon his return home at Brisbane International Airport, early February 5, 2015 | Photo: RIAN/REUTERS

Peter Greste urges release of Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohammed

Latvian-Australian Peter Greste, whose father Juris Greste was born in Latvia, is an Al-Jazeera (English) correspondent. The award-winning journalist pictured at the Peabody Awards has worked for BBC, Reuters, CNN, and ITN. He holds dual Latvian-Australian citizenship.
Latvian-Australian Peter Greste, whose father Juris Greste was born in Latvia, is an Al-Jazeera (English) correspondent. The award-winning journalist pictured at the Peabody Awards has worked for BBC, Reuters, CNN, and ITN. He holds dual Latvian-Australian citizenship.

On February 2, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “welcomed the decision of the Egyptian authorities to release detained journalist Peter Greste. “ The statement went on to say that “the Secretary-General notes that there are other journalists still in Egypt, and hopes that their causes will also be resolved shortly.”

Greste is now urging freedom for his jailed Canadian-Egyptian colleague, Mohamed Fahmy, and Egyptian national, Baher Mohamed. Who have been unjustly imprisoned for over 400 days and remain in an Egyptian jail. These three journalists had been accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news, none of which is true. After leaving the Egyptian jail and being deported, Peter flew to Cyprus, and is now in Brisbane, Australia for a reunion with his family, which includes his parents, Lois and Juris Greste, and brothers Mike and Andrew. Greste was freed under a new law issued by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The law allows for the deportation of foreign prisoners.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored “the importance of safeguarding freedom of speech and association in Egypt” on February 2. He also said that he “strongly believes that pluralism is key for achieving long-term stability, including the guarantee that all peaceful voices are heard and represented.” Ban Ki-moon added that he “supported the Egyptian people’s struggle for stability, democracy, and prosperity.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

In a statement issued by the Latvian Foreign Ministry on February l, it said:

“Journalist Peter Greste has been released from prison and is leaving Cairo. Congratulations to Peter Greste and his family on the release. It is a good day for those who fought for freedom of expression throughout the world. I would like to say thanks to the Latvian and Australian diplomats.”

 

 

Ann Charles

Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of “Baltic Review” based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body’s work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.