Greste family will not rest until colleagues are released

Peter Greste in Brisbane after being released from an Egyptian prison
Peter Greste in Brisbane after being released from an Egyptian prison Rae Wilson

THE long fight to get their son back onto Aussie soil is almost over, but the parents of journalist Peter Greste say they will not rest until his Al Jazeera colleagues can return to their families.

Overflowing with relief and joy, Juris and Lois Greste - along with Peter's brother Andrew - faced a packed media conference on Monday morning.

Greste was arrested with Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed for "spreading false news and supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood" just over 400 days ago.

Today he is in Cyprus after Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered his deportation.

Fahmy and Mohamed are still in Cairo's Tora prison.

"He is currently with our brother Mike in Cyprus where he is gathering his thoughts for the trip home," Andrew told reporters.

"He is safe, healthy and very, very happy to be on his way home."

Andrew said his family were desperate to see his brother's colleagues released from prison.

"Peter was arrested with Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy and they also deserve to be free," Andrew said.

"Peter won't rest until they're released from prison and we hope that will follow in the very near future."

Juris Greste said the next time Prime Minister Tony Abbott was handing out knighthoods he should consider nominating those who helped free his son.

"Our diplomatic crew in Egypt, while we are in a knighthood mode - dare I say - I would commend them and recommend them for a collective knighthood," Juris said.

Lois Greste said it would take time for Peter to find his feet once he was home.

"He's done a lot of work inside the prison ... his exercise and his meditation," Mrs Greste said.

"All of those things have continually helped him to maintain his mental stability."

Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has been freed after 400 days and is on his way home
Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has been freed after 400 days and is on his way home

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Greste was looking forward to sitting by the ocean.

"From my discussion with him he was very keen to be back on a beach and be lying in the sun in Australia," Ms Bishop told reporters.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek urged Egypt to free Greste's colleagues.

"We continue to urge for the release of Peter's two colleagues, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy," they said in a statement.

Greste was sentenced to seven years behind bars in June.

On January 1, Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered Greste and his colleagues face another trial, paving the way for his release.

- APN NEWSDESK


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