Greste calls for Sisi to pardon Al-Jazeera journalists

2015-08-30 07:38
Peter Greste, (File, AP)

Peter Greste, (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian Al-Jazeera reporter Peter Greste Sunday called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to pardon him and two colleagues handed three-year prison sentences, describing the Saturday court decision as "politically motivated".

Greste, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were sentenced for broadcasting "false" news that harmed Egypt in a retrial on Saturday, with the shock ruling by the Cairo court drawing international criticism.

"In the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing, the only conclusion that we can come to is that this verdict was politically motivated," Greste, who was tried in absentia after being deported early this year, said in Sydney.

"President Sisi now has an opportunity to undo that injustice, to correct that injustice. The eyes of the world are on Egypt.

"It is now up to President Sisi to do what he said he would do from the outset and that is pardon us if we were ever convicted."

The three journalists were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail last year, but an appeals court in January granted them a retrial, saying the verdict had not been backed by evidence.

They were arrested in December 2013, months after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi and launched a deadly crackdown on his supporters.

The case has become an embarrassment for Sisi, who has said he wished the reporters had been deported rather than put on trial.

Greste vowed to use "every legal, political, diplomatic and social means" to fight Saturday's verdict, which saw Fahmy and Mohamed, who were in court after being released on bail -- taken into custody.

"We will continue to fight this using every available means open to us," he said.

"This is about what this means for due process in Egypt. It's about what it means for the rule of law in Egypt. It is also about what it means about freedom of the press and democracy in Egypt."

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said her government would "do all that we can do help him clear his name," referring to Greste.

"He's not in Egypt so that could limit the legal processes that he can undertake," Bishop told commercial broadcaster Channel Seven on Sunday.

"But most certainly, there is available a presidential pardon, and we made numerous representations to President al-Sisi in the lead-up to the appeal, in relation to the first trial, and now the retrial."

Read more on:    al jazeera  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  media

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.