Lawyers for jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste have applied to have him deported from Egypt, his family said today, describing it as their “best option” after a court ordered a retrial of the Al-Jazeera reporter and two colleagues. Peter Greste was found guilty by the court, and sentenced to seven years in prison along with Mohammed Fahmy who also received a seven years and Baher Mohammed was sentenced to ten years in prison.
All three men were arrested after being accused of “damaging Egyptian to national security” and their detainment caused an international uproar. The charge was they had colluded with the Egyptian Brotherhood and were making false reporting since the Egyptian Brotherhood has been deemed as a terrorist organization by the government.
However there is hope now that Peter Greste could be released from prison and deported back to Australia because of a change of law and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said “They did change the law recently and that enables there to be a kind of prisoner transfer, or an accused person can be transferred back to another country, their home country, and we’re pursuing all those opportunities now.”
In a statement by Amnesty International’s Hassiba Hadjsahraoui said “By calling for a retrial the Egyptian courts are prolonging the injustice that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed have faced.” She also said “These men should never have been jailed in the first place and should not have to spend one more day in prison. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention pending a retrial, they must be freed immediately.” Current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ruled out any intervention in the judicial process but back in December had said if he had been in power he would have deported the journalists.
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