Egyptian authorities have released one of the three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Cairo's Tora Prison for allegedly conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood. Australian Peter Greste, who has been jailed for over a year, was deported from Egypt on Sunday night.
"Well, it certainly is a good morning," Greste's father Juris ecstatically told mediapersons on Monday morning, reports Sydney Morning Herald.
Greste was arrested in late 2013 with two Al-Jazeera colleagues, Egypt bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and producer Baher Mohammed, who were all found guilty of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood after a sham trial. The religious outfit active in politics was labelled a terrorist organisation after Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013.
While a retrial was granted for all three journalists early in January, there was no real hope for their release. Reports speculate that the shutting down of Al Jazeera's Egyptian channel may have a lot to do with the release.
"It's also difficult to realise that this day has actually come. Even though I sort of dreamed about it quietly not daring to think about it too much, it's arrived now," Greste's mother Lois said. "[Peter] said it all happened so fast and so quick...He's still absorbing it all and I think it's going to take him several days."
It is understood that Greste is recovering at Cyprus along with his brother Michael and would only return "when he is ready, and not before," according to Lois. She also added that the brothers enjoyed beer and pork in Cyprus, and that Peter would probably want prawns when he arrived in Australia.
There is high hoped for the Canadian journalist Fahmy to be released soon too, although the fate of Mohammed remains unknown.
"Peter won't rest until they're (Fahmy and Mohammed) released from prison and we hope that will follow in the very near future," Grete's brother Andrew said.