Australian Journalist Peter Greste and two Al-Jazeera colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were arrested on 29 December 2013 for allegedly speaking with the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Peter and his colleagues pleaded not guilty at the trial, which commenced on 20 February 2014. On 23 June 2014, they were found guilty by the court, Peter was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The arrests and continued detention of Peter, and his colleagues, sparked international condemnation. International calls to pardon the three or commute their sentences was rejected on 24 June 2014. On 12 November 2014 President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi passed a decree allowing the deportation of foreigners accused or convicted of crimes, meaning Peter could be deported.
On 1 January 2015 a retrial was announced for Peter and his colleagues, however release on bail was not permitted.
On 1 February 2015 after serving 400 day in Egyptian prison Peter was released. He returned to Australia on 5 February.
Peter is a journalist and correspondent. He worked for a number of news organisations including Reuters and the BBC before joining Al-Jazeera’s English news channel.
An experienced correspondent, Peter started out reporting on Bosnia and South Africa, then moved on to cover Afghanistan, Mexico, and the Middle East. He was the BBC’s Kabul correspondent in 1995, where he watched the Taliban emerge, and he returned after the US-led invasion in 2001. Since 2009 he has been based in Nairobi, Kenya, from where he has covered the Horn of Africa with a particular focus on Somalia. His documentary, Somalia: Land of Anarchy, won a Peabody Award in 2011.
At the 2014 Walkley Awards, whist incarcerated in Cairo, Peter took out the Walkley for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, recognising his courageous and ongoing fight, not only for his personal freedom, but also for a free press and open democracy.
Twitter – @PeterGreste
Facebook – Peter Greste
Website – www.freepetergreste.org