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The release of our friend and former BBC news colleague Peter Greste is being welcomed by journalists worldwide. The Australian born reporter says he feels great relief to be free after 400 days in an Egyptian prision, but ‘incredible angst’ about leaving two colleagues behind.
“This has been like a rebirth,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera, his first public remarks since he was freed. “I can’t tell you how relieved I am at being free, I mean I really didn’t expect it.”
“We were settling in for a period of months behind prison for the retrial, so to be out now, with just a few minutes’ notice, really is just extraordinary.”
Greste had been sentenced to seven years in jail on charges that included aiding a terrorist group in a case that sparked international condemnation.
Greste said he felt “incredible angst” about leaving two colleagues — Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed — behind in prison in Egypt. They were jailed for between seven and 10 years on charges including spreading lies to help a terrorist organisation, a reference to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.