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Parents call for Egypt to free Australian reporter

'To think or allege that Peter or his high-achieving colleagues would jeopardise their mid-life international careers by unethical or improper practices is completely preposterous', say parents of Peter Greste

AP, Ahram Online, Tuesday 21 Jan 2014
Peter
Al Jazeera's Correspondent Peter Greste (Photo: Peter Greste Facebook)
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The parents of an Australian journalist held in a Cairo prison have called on Egyptian authorities to release him, saying accusations against him are preposterous.

Al-Jazeera English says Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian acting bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were only doing their jobs when they were taken into custody.

The three were arrested in late December on suspicion of illegally broadcasting news "harmful to domestic security" from a hotel suit with a "member of the Muslim Brotherhood," authorities said.

Greste's parents, Lois and Juris, held a news conference in the Australian east coast city of Brisbane on Tuesday in which they called for their son's release.

Juris Greste said: "To think or allege that Peter or his high-achieving colleagues would jeopardise their mid-life international careers by unethical or improper practices is completely preposterous."

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to review the case which has drawn an outcry from international journalists and news organisations.

Greste, who has previously worked with Reuters, CNN and the BBC, received the prestigious Peabody Award in 2011 for a documentary on Somalia.

At least two other reporters for the Qatar-based media network remain in custody in Egypt. They include a correspondent from Al-Jazeera's Egyptian affiliate Abdullah El-Shami and cameraman Mohamed Badr, detained during violence in Cairo in July and August 2013.

Authorities last week arrested an Egyptian cameraman while filming for the Associated Press (AP) during the constitutional referendum after mistaking him for an Al-Jazeera employee. He was freed later.

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