The parents of detained Australian journalist Peter Greste have written to Egypt’s interim president and pleaded with him to release their son.
The parents of imprisoned Australian journalist Peter Greste have offered themselves to Egyptian authorities in place of their son.
They have written to Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, protesting the innocence of their son, who is on trial for backing the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and portraying the nation in a state of civil war.
In their letter, Juris and Lois Greste have offered themselves to Egyptian authorities in place of their television journalist son, who has pleaded not guilty to the terror charges.
“As his parents, we would offer ourselves up for arrest as testament to our unswerving and wholehearted support of our son, who has only acted in accordance with the highest standards of international journalism,” they said in their letter, which was handed to the Egyptian embassy in Canberra on Friday.
“As a father yourself you will understand the passion and dedication with which any parent would defend and protect his or her child if they are accused of something that they did not do.”
Mr Greste’s Brisbane-based parents said their 48-year-old son, an awarding-winning journalist for Al-Jazeera, had already spent two months in solitary confinement in Cairo’s high-security Tora prison for filing accurate and balanced stories.
“Peter has never and would never contemplate doing anything to undermine any nation’s peace and security,” they said.
“He has never shown any support for the Muslim Brotherhood or any terrorist organisation.”
They added their son’s arrest had distressed his family and could harm Australia’s long-term relations with Egypt.
“Peter’s imprisonment is causing us, his parents and family, great anguish and distress,” they said.
“In addition, his extended family are heartbroken and their and our lives have been turned upside down by what has happened to Peter.”
Mr Greste’s trial began last week.
He is one of four Al-Jazeera journalists who were arrested at a Cairo hotel on December 29 and imprisoned, inspiring more than 43,000 people to sign an online petition demanding their release.