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Election deepens uncertainty for journalists jailed in Egypt

Media Release
Christine Milne 26 May 2014

As Egyptians head to the polls today, the Australian Greens say it's crucial that Prime Minister Tony Abbott personally intervenes in the case of jailed journalist Peter Greste and his 19 co-accused.

"The Abbott government's efforts must be stepped up during this period of political uncertainty in Egypt," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"The next hearing in the trial has been set for after the election, and it's impossible to know how the political winner will approach Peter Greste's case.

"From the outset the Greens have said these were trumped up charges against journalists who were simply trying to do their jobs. I urge the Prime Minister to make this a personal priority as he did for detained business men in Dubai last year.

"Specifically, I am calling on the Prime Minister to speak out against the corrupting of evidence and lack of justice in this trial.

"Our Foreign Minister and DFAT should raise concerns with Egypt about procedural abuse in their courts, relating to the evidence presented against Mr Greste," said Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.

"Peter does not speak Arabic, but audio recordings played in court, supposedly from his phone, were in Arabic.

"A photo that had clearly been doctored was presented as evidence, and technical advisers who were meant to have prepared their testimony separately all gave the same statements.

"Peter and his co-accused have been behind bars for almost five months, with this sham of a justice system on display at every court appearance," said Senator Milne.

"I share the concerns of many in the international community that the integrity of the so-called evidence put forward by the prosecution has been corrupted, and call on Prime Minister Abbott to stand up for our fellow Australian, Peter Greste."


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