Statement by Michael Rowland, President of the Press Club

This article was originally published in 2014. 

The Melbourne Press Club deplores the jail sentences imposed on Australian journalist Peter Greste and his Al Jazeera colleagues.

The decision was an outrageous assault on freedom of the press in Egypt. As the Press Club has said many times during this saga, Peter Greste and his colleagues were simply doing their jobs reporting on the unrest in Egypt.

Journalism is not a crime.

The often farcical evidence presented during the trial in no way justified the severity of the punishment and the continued detention of the Al Jazeera team.

The Press Club supports efforts by the Australian government to have the sentence overturned and Peter Greste returned home.

Our thoughts are with Peter’s parents, Juris and Lois, and the rest of his family.

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