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Journalist's family condemns jail term

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 00:45

The family of Australian al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, hit out over a seven-year jail term imposed by a court in Egypt. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION The parents of Australian journalist Peter Greste, one of the Al Jazeera journalists jailed for seven years each by an Egyptian judge, have called the verdict an attack on free speech everywhere that has left them "shattered". The three journalists all denied charges of working with the now banned Muslim Brotherhood and reporting false news. They have been held at Egypt's notorious Tora Prison for six months, with the case becoming a rallying point for rights groups and news organisations around the world. "This is a very dark time not only for our family but for journalism generally. We are devastated, shocked and dismayed at this finding. We are not usually a family of superlatives but I have to say this morning my vocabulary fails to convey just how shattered we are," his father, Juris Greste, told a news conference in Brisbane on Tuesday (June, 24). Greste was sentenced along with Canadian-Egyptian national Mohamed Fahmy, who was the Cairo bureau chief of Al Jazeera English, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed who was given a further three year term for possession of a single bullet. Cairo defended the journalists' convictions, saying they aided a "terrorist organisation", and rejected the widespread condemnation as "interference in its internal affairs". The Greste family said that they had not yet decided what their next step would be in attempting to free their son and his colleagues. The three men were detained in late December and charged with helping "a terrorist group" - a reference to the Muslim brotherhood - by broadcasting lies that harmed national security and supplying money, equipment and information to a group of Egyptians. The Brotherhood was banned and declared a terrorist group after the army deposed elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July following mass protests against his rule. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful organisation. The Australian government summoned a senior Egyptian diplomat on Tuesday to protest against the sentencing.

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Journalist's family condemns jail term

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 00:45