18.6 C
Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

Egypt to feel pressure of Greste verdict

Latest News

COVID-19 update: 5 new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District, Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, says there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported for the District to 8pm last night, 21 October.

Other News

Who can I trust?

COVID, WHO SHOULD I TRUST ?   I tend to trust people who care, who demonstrate they have no agenda, but to be...

COVID’s genetic solution?

A lucky few are unusually resistant to COVID-19. Scientists are trying to find a reason in their genes.

XR plans two weeks of ‘Reclaim our Future’ protests

Extinction Rebellion Lismore is part of the Northern Rivers push to highlight the issue of climate change and a march and candlelit vigil last night was the start to a fortnight of ‘Reclaim Our Future’ protests.


I know I’m not the only one who has joined the dots between Byron Shire having the lowest vaccination...

New COVID cases in Ballina and Clarence Valley

Two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 19 October.

Stranded local artist shares stories from India

Vrinda Gleeson prepared for her new exhibition in a small London bedsit where she is living until she can return to her Northern Rivers home.

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste during his trial. (AP)
Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste during his trial. (AP)

Canberra will apply greater diplomatic pressure on Egypt to free jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste as his family’s hopes of a presidential pardon look grim.

Attorney-General George Brandis says the federal government will make a formal request to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seeking his intervention after Monday’s shock seven-year jail sentence sparked international outcry and condemnation of the north African country.

But late on Tuesday the president dashed hopes of a prompt resolution, declaring Egyptian authorities “will not interfere in judicial matters”.

A government official said President Sisi cannot legally pardon Greste until a final ruling from the appeal court.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott understood the president’s position but added that the Egyptian is a reasonable man.

‘This is someone who does get it when it comes to the ordinary norms of justice and decency,’ Mr Abbott told Sky News.

He said it is important that Australia not resort to outrage when dealing with Egypt on the matter.

‘I don’t believe that loose language or emotive language is necessarily going to get us the right result for Peter Greste.’

Dialogue between the two countries over the court verdict began in Canberra on Tuesday.

With Egypt’s ambassador to Australia currently in Cairo, his deputy, chargé d’affaires Sherif Abdelaziz Bedeir Hussein, was summoned to a meeting with senior diplomats who expressed Australia’s dismay at the sentences handed to Greste and two of his fellow Al Jazeera English colleagues.

Greste’s parents, Juris and Lois Greste, vowed never to give up fighting for their son’s release, indicating a pardon from the head of Egypt’s government is “probably the very first thing” they would consider.

But President Sisi’s more recent statement means the family might have to wait until the lengthy appeal court process has been exhausted before a pardon will be considered.

‘My vocabulary fails to convey just how shattered we are,’ Mr Greste said of his son’s jailing.

Mr Greste said his son had been jailed for upholding the principles of free speech, and that fight must never end.

‘To us, it is not just affecting the Greste family. It is also a slap in the face and a kick in the groin to Australia, as well as all fair-minded people around the world.’

Support for the jailed journalists came from the White House, where the US administration called on the Egyptian government to pardon the men and Secretary of State John Kerry labelled the sentences as ‘chilling and draconian’.

‘We call on the Egyptian government to pardon these individuals or commute their sentences so that they can be released immediately, and grant clemency for all politically-motivated sentences,’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The UK and Netherlands also called in their Egyptian ambassadors to express their outrage.

The International Federation of Journalists says the verdicts and sentences are ‘an outrageous violation of press freedom and they call for global condemnation’.

Greste and two of his network colleagues denied accusations of reporting false news and alignment with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

When they were arrested during a raid on their Cairo hotel in December, the trio said they were just doing their job, reporting on Egypt’s political situation.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NSW Education responds to Teachers Federation over Murwillumbah Education Campus staff cuts

The NSW Education Department has responded to the NSW Teachers Federation's accusation that Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has only just revealed the extent of staff cuts at the mega school.

The Rebels and the Wraiths visit Nationals: ‘We are facing a planetary crisis’

As part of a fortnight of climate actions and protests with the Extinction Rebellion, over 30 activists visited MP Kevin Hogan’s office in Lismore yesterday pushing ghostly empty white prams.

NSW Legislative Council expresses concerns over push to burn native forests for power

The NSW Legislative Council unanimously passed a motion expressing its concerns over the growing push by industry to burn NSW native forests for electricity and hydrogen production.

Diadem Street, Lismore

Around 2,000 residents in Lismore lost their electricity connection on Wednesday night after a large gum tree took out power lines.