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After 400 days in jail, Peter Greste has one simple wish

PETER Greste has one simple wish - to watch the sun set.

The Australian journalist and his family are holding on to hope as the emotional and financial burden takes its toll after 400 days in Egypt's torrid Tora prison.

Greste's mother and father, Lois and Juris, and brother Andrew yesterday revealed the 50-year-old was struggling behind the grim walls of the Cairo jail.

Today the Al Jazeera reporter will mark 400 days since his arrest.

Greste and his colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were arrested in December, 2013.

They were found guilty of aiding Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood - allegedly by spreading false news - in June, 2014.

 

Al-Jazeera English correspondent Peter Greste appears in a defendant's cage in the police institute court house in Tura along with several other defendants during a trial on terror charges, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Hamada Elrasam)
Al-Jazeera English correspondent Peter Greste appears in a defendant's cage in the police institute court house in Tura along with several other defendants during a trial on terror charges, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Hamada Elrasam) Hamada Elrasam

Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered a retrial for the three men on January 1, but refused to release them on bail.

Juris said the family believed a presidential pardon or deportation was still possible.

"It's been a very very long 400 days since Peter and his colleagues - three highly credentialed hard-working journalists of high integrity - were very unfairly tried in a very flawed process; very harshly sentenced; and now serving punishment in jail for merely doing their jobs," Juris told reporters yesterday.

"It has been a long time of anxiety and stress - we feel very sad that we have come home empty-handed," he said of the family's latest trip to Egypt.

"We are home feeling we are still looking into the void."

Mrs Greste said her son was struggling.

"The last time we saw him he wasn't his best," she said.

"He has had a few grim days."

 

Lois and Juris Greste
Lois and Juris Greste

Juris said Peter had just one small dream.

"His most ardent wish is to see a sunset," he said.

"He tries to focus on the sky but some other days; he sees the bars instead of the sky."

Andrew revealed generous "benefactors" were helping fund the fight to win his brother's freedom.

"Peter's still got a job (with Al Jazeera) and they've got a moral responsibility to continue to support him in this," Andrew said.

"We're being supported by many, many benefactors.

"It's more than financial cost, it's the man-hours and the emotional cost, the time away from our own employers our own family - so it's a huge impact."

Juris Greste said: It's an enormous cost in every way that you can think of."

Al Jazeera continues to demand the journalists be released.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  egypt peter greste prison


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