• 22:14
  • Thursday ,05 February 2015

Peter Greste returns home to Australia after jail in Egypt

By BBC News

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Thursday ,05 February 2015

Peter Greste returns home to Australia after jail in Egypt

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has returned to the Australian city of Brisbane to be reunited with his family, following his release on Sunday from an Egyptian prison.

Mr Greste was arrested along with two colleagues in 2013. They were convicted of spreading false news and aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The jailing of the journalists sparked an international outcry.

Mr Greste's colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, remain in prison.

Speaking upon his arrival in Brisbane, Mr Greste said he was delighted to be free - and thanked his family for supporting him.

He again called for the Egyptian authorities to release his colleagues, and others convicted with them.

"Egypt has an opportunity to show that justice does not depend on your nationality," he said. "If it's right for me to be free, it's right for them to be free."

'Incredible angst'
Mr Fahmy holds dual Egyptian-Canadian citizenship, while Mr Mohamed is an Egyptian national.

Mr Fahmy has surrendered his Egyptian citizenship in order to facilitate his release, his family said on Tuesday. The journalist's brother said he had been asked to choose between his nationality and his freedom.

Canada says Mr Fahmy's release is imminent. The status of Mr Mohamed remains unclear.

Earlier this week, Mr Greste said he felt "incredible angst" at leaving his colleagues in a Cairo jail. He is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday at 10:00 local time (00:00 GMT).

The three al-Jazeera journalists were arrested in 2013, after the military toppled the Muslim Brotherhood government, led by President Mohammed Morsi.

The men were convicted the following year of aiding the Brotherhood, which had been banned by Mr Morsi's successor, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Mr Fahmy and Mr Greste were sentenced to seven years in prison and Mr Mohamed to 10. Their convictions were overturned on 1 January, but the men remained in custody pending a retrial.

All the defendants denied the charges against them and said their trial was a sham.