Date
17 August 2017
Peter Greste, shown in this file photo, left Egypt on Sunday after spending 400 days in prison on terror charges. Photo: Reuters
Peter Greste, shown in this file photo, left Egypt on Sunday after spending 400 days in prison on terror charges. Photo: Reuters

Egypt frees Al Jazeera journalist, two others still held

Egypt has released an Al Jazeera journalist after holding him for 400 days on terrorism and other charges.

Australian Peter Greste was freed from a Cairo jail on Sunday and left Egypt, Reuters reported Monday, citing security officials.

However, the fate of his two jailed Al Jazeera colleagues — Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed — is not known.

The three were sentenced to seven to 10 years on charges including spreading lies to help a terrorist organization, a reference to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

One month ago, a court ordered their retrial.

A security official said Fahmy was expected to be released from Cairo’s Tora prison within days. His fiancee said she hoped he would be free soon and deported to Canada.

“His deportation is in its final stages. We are hopeful,” Marwa Omara told Reuters.

Canada’s foreign ministry welcomed what it called positive developments, saying it is “hopeful that Fahmy’s case will be resolved shortly”.

Many Egyptians see Qatar-based Al Jazeera as a force set on destabilizing the country, a view that has been encouraged in the local media which labeled the journalists “The Marriott Cell”, because they worked from a hotel of the US-based chain.

Egyptian authorities accuse Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Qatar-backed movement which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled in 2013 when he was Egypt’s army chief.

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RC/RA

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