Parents of an Australian journalist detained in Egypt say it’s ludicrous he’s being accused of terrorism links and are demanding his release.
Peter Greste has been held in Cairo’s high-security Tora Prison since he was arrested alongside his Aljazeera news colleagues in a hotel in the capital on December 29.
The trio are accused of broadcasting false news in the service of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, but charges are yet to be laid.
Mr Greste’s parents, Lois and Juris, called a press conference in Brisbane on Tuesday to join global efforts calling for the group’s release, as well as other Aljazeera correspondents who have been detained for several months.
“As you might imagine we’re about three weeks behind in our sleep,” Juris told reporters.
“The whole of Peter’s family is still in a state of shock since Peter’s arrest.”
His wife Lois added: “I’ve got no other word for it but ludicrous. He’s a seasoned journalist”.
“As far as being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, that’s just so unbelievable.”
— Patricia Barraclough (@PMBarraclough) January 17, 2014
Lois said she had spoken with her son about three times while he was being held in solitary confinement.
She said he was holding up well, but was relying on food supplied by Aljazeera as the prison did not supply any.
The crew are being interrogated about suspicion of having unlicensed equipment and broadcasting false news detrimental to the country’s regime.
Aljazeera has slammed all allegations as entirely false and an online petition has attracted more than 800 signatures.
The award-winning journalist has worked for ABC News, Reuters, CNN and BBC.
He grew up in Brisbane and was school captain at Indooroopilly State High School.