Home - Claire Moore - Labor Senator for Queensland

DOCUMENTS: Mr Peter Greste

I want to associate myself with the comments just made by Senator Milne. The family of Peter Greste has been in contact with many people in this place. I have myself been able to converse with them via email on a number of occasions. Peter and the other journalists have now been held in Egyptian prisons for several months. We understand that the right to trial is well established in the Egyptian legal system, but it is also my understanding that, as Senator Milne has pointed out, throughout the process Mr Greste has not had access to effective translation and so has not been able to see the case against him or even the full charges. This is directly opposed to everything we believe in about effective justice processes and freedom of speech.

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, or MEAA, have a strong record of standing up for the rights of journalists and have helped publicise what is happening internationally. They are particularly concerned about what has happened in the Egyptian case. The MEAA are terrified that this will continue to be a standard practice, that there will not be any possibility of independent coverage of events-not just in Egypt, although that is the focus at the moment, but in other countries as well. It will be impossible for independent journalists to report on what are, in some cases, horrific examples of human rights abuse.

Mr Greste has received strong support from consular staff. His family are very grateful for that and have mentioned that publicly. However, I believe we must, as a nation, speak out publicly at the international level to support the need for clear justice processes for this man and the others being held. We need to reassure Peter Greste's family that our government is behind him at this extraordinarily difficult time. For the record, I strongly support the words of Senator Milne.

Question agreed to.