The family of Peter Greste say the Australian journalist is “safe, healthy and very, very happy to be on his way home”.
“Peter Greste is a free man,” his brother Andrew Greste declared at a press conference on Monday, joined by his beaming parents Lois and Juris.
Greste has been released after spending 400 days jailed in Egypt, along with fellow Al-Jazeera reporters Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, on trumped up charges of supporting the deposed post Arab Spring government of the Muslim Brotherhood which was then designated a terrorist organisation by the succeeding government.
Greste was immediately sent to Cyprus upon his release – under a new Egyptian law allowing foreign prisoners to be deported – while his colleagues remain behind bars. He will reportedly return to Australia later this week.
At the news conference in Brisbane, the Greste family could not hold back their elation, thanking all those involved in securing the journalist’s release.
“While we’re in a knighthood mood – I’d like to recommend them for a collective knighthood,” Juris Greste jokingly said, referring to last week’s Australia Day controversy over the knighting of Prince Philip.
“This couldn’t have happened without the support from you. Mum, Dad, Mike and I are just small cogs in this massive campaign and we are continually humbled by people’s generosity and outpouring of support,” Andrew Greste said.
They said the fight is not over though until the other two reporters are also freed.
“Peter was arrested with Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy and they also deserve to be free,” he said.
“Peter won’t rest until they’re released from prison and we hope that will follow in the very near future.”
IMAGE: Andrew Greste, brother of Peter Greste, poses for a photograph after speaking to media representatives at the ABC studios on February 2, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. Al Jazeera Journalist Peter Greste was released yesterday after spending 400 days in an Egyptian prison. Greste was sentenced to 7 years in prison after a widely criticized trial convicting him of aiding terrorist organizations and creating false news that damaged Egypt’s international reputation. (Photo by Glenn Hunt/Getty Images)