Egypt releases Australian journalist

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste leaves Cairo after 400 days in jail

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste was released “unconditionally” from Cairo's notorious Tora prison on 2 February where he spent 400 days on charges of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement. He was flown to Cyprus before he continues his journey home to Australia. He was released on orders from Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Two of his al-Jazeera colleagues – Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed – remain in jail after all three received lengthy sentences last June.

The three journalists worked for al-Jazeera English at the time of their arrest in December 2013 and all have consistently denied the charges of spreading false news and supporting the banned Islamist group.

The three were among 20 reporters held on terror-related charges in a high-profile case that received international condemnation. Greste and Fahmy were both sentenced to seven years while Mohamed received a ten-year jail term.

Fahmy is expected to be released from Tora prison within days and will likely face deportation to Canada.

Egyptian authorities accuse al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Qatar-backed movement which President al-Sisi set about eliminating in 2013 when he was Egypt’s army chief.

Greste’s release comes days after Egypt suffered one of the bloodiest militant attacks in years, when more than 30 members of the security forces were killed in Sinai on 29 January.