US, UN welcome release of Peter Greste, call for release of others

CAIRO: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed Monday the release of Australian journalist Peter Greste, noting that other journalists are still detained in Egypt and that he “hopes that their cases will also be resolved shortly.”

“Pluralism is key for achieving long-term stability, including the guarantee that all peaceful voices are heard and represented in Egypt,” said Ban, adding he has a “commitment to supporting the Egyptian people’s struggle for stability, democracy, and prosperity.”

The U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki also welcomed Greste’s release during her daily press briefing Monday, and said the U.S. is “hoping the Egyptian Government will follow this positive step with measures to address the verdicts against detained journalists and peaceful civil society activists.”

“It also appears that charges remain against the other journalists convicted in absentia, including British Nationals Dominic Kane and Sue Turton. I call on the Egyptian authorities to review their sentences as a matter of urgency,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Stated Hammond also stated.

Tuesday morning the family of Greste’s Al Jazeera colleague Mohamed Fahmy announced that he had ceded his Egyptian citizenship in order to be deported to Canada, where he is also a citizen. The network posted on its Twitter account Tuesday morning it expected him to be released “within hours.”

Greste, Fahmy, and Mohamed Baher were sentenced in 2014 to between seven and 10 years in prison for broadcasting “false news,” and an appeal trial was pending, but the date had not yet been set.

Recommend to friends

Leave a comment