National Press Club

National Press Club calls release of Al Jazeera journalist a positive step

February 1, 2015 | By John M. Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste (above) has been released and deported to Cyprus after being held in Egypt for 400 days.

Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste (above) has been released and deported to Cyprus after being held in Egypt for 400 days.

Photo/Image: Al Jazeera

The National Press Club said Egypt's release of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste is encouraging and renewed its call for the release of other reporters being held.

News reports on Feb. 1 said Greste, an Australian, was released and deported to Cyprus after being held in Egypt for 400 days. He had been arrested in December 2013 and tried on charges of providing assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading untrue information, according to the news reports.

The Press Club has called for the release of Greste and his colleagues numerous times, including on Jan. 15, when former NPC President Myron Belkind made an appeal to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Belkind's last day in office.

"We are encouraged that Egypt has released Peter Greste," NPC President John Hughes said. "We are hopeful that Greste's colleagues will now go free after being imprisoned only because they were doing their jobs."

Following their convictions on June 23, Greste and Canadian-Egyptian Mohammed Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in prison, and Egyptian Baher Mohammed received a 10-year sentence. Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered a retrial of Greste and his two colleagues on Jan. 1.