Press freedom worth fighting for
Greens Leader Christine Milne says it is great news and a democratic victory that Australian journalist Peter Greste has finally been released from prison in Egypt.
"I am so happy for Peter and his family, who have all been so strong and stoic throughout these 400 days of injustice," said Senator Milne.
"Journalism is not a crime, and we must keep up the pressure on Egypt to free Peter Greste's Al Jazeera colleagues, who have suffered alongside him for simply doing their jobs.
"These journalists have been subjected to a more than a year behind bars, as well as shocking show-trial that resulted in a seven year jail sentence on the basis of completely flawed and irrelevant ‘evidence.'
"Peter's ordeal is sadly one of many, and I extend the Greens' sympathy to the family, colleagues and friends of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto who was murdered recently in Syria.
"In 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists tallied 61 who were killed and 221 who were thrown in jail.
"A Greens motion, supported by both Labor and Liberal, was passed as a formal pledge by the Australian Senate to stand up for the freedom of the press.
"The combined political efforts in Australia and around the world, together with persistent public support, the tireless work of the Ambassador and staff at the Australian Embassy in Cairo, and the determination of Peter Greste's family is empowering. It demonstrates that if enough people of goodwill stand up for freedom of the press, they can succeed.
"The Greens will continue to take every opportunity to defend the role of journalists reporting the news without fear or favour."