Freed journalist Greste calls for release of colleagues | News | DW | 02.02.2015
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Freed journalist Greste calls for release of colleagues

Speaking publicly for the first time since leaving Egyptian prison, Peter Greste admitted to mixed emotions about his release. He has grave worries about his fellow journalists who are still being held.

Recently freed Australian Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, 49, called his release from prison in Egypt a "rebirth" on Monday, but voiced "angst" for his colleagues. Egyptian Baher Mohammed and Egyptian-Canadian Mohammed Fahmy, other Al-Jazeera journalists arrested with Greste, remain imprisoned.

Speaking from Cyprus, where Greste flew immediately after leaving jail on Sunday, Greste said he was looking forward to seeing a "few sunsets" and spending time with his family.

"It's those little beautiful moments of life that are really precious," Greste told the press.

But his release was filled with "mixed emotions," Greste said, adding that "it was a very difficult moment walking out of that prison, saying goodbye to the guys, not knowing how much longer they all have to put up with this."

Greste felt "incredible angst" for Mohammed and Fahmy, and he hoped "Egypt keeps going down that path" and releases his fellow journalists. He also spoke of the "stress of having to say goodbye…If it's appropriate for me to be free, it's right for all of them to be freed."

The award-winning correspondent was freed and deported after over a year behind bars. Greste, along with Mohammed and Fahmy, was arrested in December 2013 and later convicted of providing a platform for ousted president Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, now listed as a terrorist organization.

The journalists argued they were doing their job in a time of upheaval. The three were seen as having been caught up in the conflict between Egypt and Qatar, which funds Al-Jazeera. Doha had been a strong support of Morsi.

Greste's release follows a thawing of ties between the two countries. Fahmy is expected to be freed and deported to Canada, but the fate of Mohammed, who only holds Egyptian citizenship, is less clear.

es/rc (AP, AFP)

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