(Corrects headline to reflect single journalist; corrects
paragraph one to show Peter Greste family said he will appeal;
adds paragraphs 6 and 7 statement from Mohamed Fahmy's brother
that Fahmy has not yet decided to appeal)
By Matt Siegel
SYDNEY, July 25 One of the Al Jazeera
journalists jailed in Egypt last month for up to 10 years on
charges of aiding a terrorist organisation will appeal his
conviction, the family of imprisoned Australian journalist Peter
Greste said on Friday.
Greste, an award-winning foreign correspondent, was detained
in December together with Al Jazeera English Cairo bureau chief
Mohamed Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, and Egyptian
producer Baher Mohamed.
The three were convicted of aiding a terrorist group - the
Muslim Brotherhood group of ousted president Mohamed Mursi - in
a trial that was widely criticised outside of Egypt for its
paucity of evidence and the shambolic way it was conducted.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi quickly dispelled
hopes that he might issue a pardon following the trial, leaving
the journalists with no choice but to try to win their freedom
through the country's criminal justice system.
"Today we wish to announce we intend to appeal the verdict
through the formal channels offered by the Egyptian legal
system," Greste's younger brother, Mike Greste, told reporters
Adel Fahmy said in a statement released on behalf of his
brother, "Mohamed Fahmy has not decided yet if he will appeal
the ridiculous verdict which simply failed to respond to the
defense argument and requests highlighting the many
irregularities in the case as portrayed in the 57-page
He added, "There is no guarantee the appeal process or
retrial will serve justice and disregard the political
Former army chief Sisi last year orchestrated the ouster of
Mursi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood member, in reaction to mass
protests against his rule. It has since banned the Brotherhood
and declared it a terrorist organisation.
Mursi's removal was followed by a security crackdown on
Islamist activists and some media outlets, including the
Qatar-based Al Jazeera network.
Cairo has rejected the condemnation as "interference in its
internal affairs", but Sisi said this month that he wished they
had been deported, not tried.
The conviction and imprisonment of the reporters has sparked
a global campaign by rights groups and media organisations to
win their freedom and intensified criticism of the government in
many western capitals.
Greste, in a statement released by his family on Friday,
said he drew strength from the campaign as he waits out the
appeal in Egypt's notorious Tora Prison.
"At least part of our strength comes from the understanding
that this isn't just about those wrongly convicted in our case.
This is about press freedom, about freedom of speech, not just
in Egypt, but globally," Greste wrote.
"If the authorities in Egypt can ride out the storm then
others can too. Gratifyingly the world seems to be behind us."
(Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)