Greste hails global support for #FreeAJStaff


Peter Greste has emphasised his belief in integrity, ethics and professionalism as key to journalism's survival in a speech read on his behalf at an awards event recognising courage and independent spirit among journalists.

Greste and his colleagues Mohammed Fahmy, Baher Mohammed have now been imprisoned in Egypt for 292 days, after being falsely accused and then found guilty of aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

In his address, read at the Frontline Club Awards ceremony by Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton, Greste paid homage to the journalists executed by the Islamic State in the Iraq and the Levant group and reflected on the dangers faced by thousands of journalists around the world.

Greste said the best strategy for journalists, in light of the hostile environments they find themselves in, is to cling to the core ethical and professional standards of the industry.

"The sloppier we get; the more we degrade public support for our business, the more excuses we give to governments to limit and control what we do," he wrote.

"I’ve been staggered by the incredible number of people who’ve supported our cause, not so much because they see an injustice, but because they see an attack on press freedom."

The Australian award-winning reporter said that while he and his colleagues remain in prison, "I am still certain that if and when we are finally released, that global support, will be what ultimately saves us".

Greste’s speech was put together by his family after speaking with him over a number of our fortnightly prison visits.

Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in prison. Baher Mohamed received an additional three years for having a spent bullet in his possession, which he had picked up at a protest.

Eleven defendants tried in absentia, including one Dutch and two British journalists, were given 10-year sentences.

Al Jazeera continues to demand the immediate release of its journalists.

We are still in prison of course, but I am still certain that if and when we are finally released, that global support, will be what ultimately saves us.  

Peter Greste, jailed Al Jazeera journalist

Source: Al Jazeera

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