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Press Release

For immediate release: Media Release: Peter Greste, the fast facts.

Peter Greste: the fast facts

Australian journalist Peter Greste is currently detained in Egypt, along with colleagues from the Al Jazeera network. The case has attracted plenty of media attention in Australia, as fellow journalists rally behind his cause.

As well as legal issues, the situation presents difficult political terrain. Since Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was ousted last July, the country has faced political uncertainty and frequent security crises.

For those who aren’t up to speed with the situation, here are the basics:

Who is Peter Greste?
A former correspondent for Reuters and the BBC, he worked in Kabul both before and during the war in Afghanistan. Moving throughout Africa in the past decade, he was based in Kenya as an African correspondent for Al Jazeera.
His surnamed is pronounced Gress-tuh, with a short ‘e’.

His parents, Juris and Lois Greste, have been publically vocal about their son’s case and last week offered to take his place in prison, claiming he is a ‘victim of the challenging times that Egypt is living through’.

What charges is he facing?
Greste was arrested on December 29, and is charged with offences including broadcasting news that is ‘damaging to domestic security’ and editing video to ‘give the appearance that Egypt is in a civil war’.

Prosecutors referred 20 people for trial at the end of January, nine of which Al Jazeera says are employees, along with Greste. Of the group, 16 are Egyptians charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation, and four are foreigners. The terrorism charges relate to alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood organisation – which Egypt has declared to be a terrorist organisation.

Greste’s charges could result in up to seven years in prison.

What is being done?
As of Monday 3 March, Greste has been imprisoned for 64 days. A concerted social media campaign is ongoing, with Greste’s family operating his Twitter account with more than 10,000 followers.

Almost 50,000 people have signed an online petition for his release.

His defence is being led by Cairo lawyer Farag Fathy Farag.

Mr Farag was quoted by the ABC on the strategy for the defence, which includes attempting to separate the trial of Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr and Al Jazeera English employees. Greste works for the English network. Mr Farag was also quoted saying he believed Greste stood a good chance of bail, at the second stage of the trial expected in the next few weeks.

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