Peter Greste: Australian journalist to be treated to prawns on his return home, but won’t forget detained colleagues

Greste had been imprisoned in Cairo for 400 days

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The Independent Online

Peter Greste, the Al-Jazeera and ex-BBC journalist who was freed from prison in Egypt yesterday, will be welcomed home to beer and prawns, his family have said.

The Australian reporter was released yesterday after spending 400 days in the Tora Prison in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, after he and fellow Al-Jazeera journalists were accused of aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Greste was handed a seven-year sentence, and is currently recovering in Cyprus with his brother Michael.

"I'm ecstatic. I just can't say how happy I am about it," Peter's mother Lois Greste said, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Andrew Greste, Peter's brother, said the journalist had been in a confined space during his imprisonment and had limited information about was what happening with his case.

His family said they remain uncertain what prompted his release, which came as a surprise just days after Egypt suffered one of its bloodiest militant attacks in years.

Australian journalist Peter Greste during a trial session in Cairo, Egypt (EPA)

No schedule was given for his return to Australia but Mrs Greste added that her two sons had enjoyed beer and pork in Cyprus, and Peter would probably want prawns when he arrived in Australia.

But as Greste becomes accustomed to freedom once again, his two colleagues who remain in detention are at the forefront of his mind, the reporter’s brother told a news conference in the city of Brisbane.

Fellow Al-Jazeera reporters, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed, were handed similar sentences to Greste after they were arrested in 2013.  

“He's not going to forget his two other colleagues, there's no doubt that his excitement is tempered and restrained and will be until those guys are free. He won't give up until Baher and Mohamed Fahmy are out of there,” Andrew Greste said.

The Interior Ministry said on its Facebook page that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi released Greste under a decree issued in November authorising him to approve the deportation of foreign prisoners.

The Greste family said are grateful for the support offered by the Australian government, Al Jazeera and all their son's supporters.

"I think it's not just people here in Australia, it's been all over the world that we've had support and assistance so we've got thousands of people to thank," said Mrs Greste.

Additional reporting by Reuters