Greste to appeal sentence

Jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste is set to appeal his seven year prison sentence in Egypt, along with his Al Jazeera colleague Baher Mohammed.

The sentences relate to charges of defaming Egypt and assisting the banned Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, charges which they vehemently deny.

Peter’s brother, Michael Greste, said it was a decision that was not made lightly, according to the Brisbane Times.

“A great deal of research and interviewing of lawyers was conducted before we came to the decision, notwithstanding the difficulties of communicating with Peter and getting a decision from him as well,” he said.

“There was a tremendous amount of emotional stress and strain that went into the decision, but now we’ve made it, it’s all guns blazing.”

He said they would exhaust all legal channels before trying any other strategies.

The international journalism community has rallied around Greste following the sentencing and the intransigence of the Egyptian authorities.

Brisbane’s Courier-Mail has launched an editorial series, Journalism Matters, highlighting the value of press freedom in light of his arrest.

The series has seen journalists including Hugh Riminton, Paul Toohey and today, Emmy-winning NBC correspondent Sara James, reflect on the value of a free press – and the challenges that come with upholding it.

Journalism Matters is a reminder to all of us who enjoy freedom of press that the work done by many journalists around the globe is often dangerous,” The Courier-Mail editor-in-chief Chris Dore said.

“It requires a tenacious determination to uncover and share stories that would otherwise go untold.

“This campaign is a timely reminder about the real difference journalism makes to the way people live around the world and that many areas in the world do not have the press freedom that we enjoy and too often take for granted.

“Right now there are journalists from around the world in Ukraine, including our own Charles Miranda and photographer Ella Pellegrini, who are working in an unstable and dangerous conflict zone to uncover the heartbreaking stories of the MH17 disaster.”

Greste and Mohammed have urged supporters to keep up international pressure as they face legal and political barriers in their appeal.

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