Jun 24, 2014

Egypt wants to silence Peter Greste, but you can listen to him here

Australian journalist Peter Greste has been imprisoned for seven years for spreading "false news". See for yourself the evidence on which he was convicted.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

This is the evidence on which Egyptian authorities have imprisoned journalist Peter Greste for seven years. You be the judge on whether it "spreads false news" and "supports the Muslim Brotherhood," as the court found. This is a documentary Greste made for BBC Panorama in 2011, about the chaos and dysfunction of war-torn Somalia. It was aired in a Cairo court recently as evidence for the prosecution against Greste, who now works for Al Jazeera (other videos and pictures were also shown). Crikey watched the full BBC documentary to see the nature of the evidence against the Australian journalist. The 29-minute documentary shows the dangers of everyday life in the capital Mogadishu as militant Islamists wage war to take over the region. Greste tried to film this documentary in 2005, but his producer was shot and died. He returned alone to finish the project, in a country almost all journalists avoid. Accompanied by armed guards and mostly wearing body armour and a helmet, Greste copes with gunfire and mortar attacks to tell this story. He revisits the hospital in which his colleague died of her wounds, as seen in the still below. Greste is embedded with African Union troops fighting the Islamists, interviews the then-deputy prime minister, and talks to refugees. He does not interview any Islamist militants and the documentary is not sympathetic to their cause -- he refers to them as the "new enemy" who are waging a "bitter campaign," creating a "devastated war zone". Egyptian prosecutors accuse Greste of supporting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Ironically this documentary shows the horrors created by Islamist militants elsewhere.

The BBC documentary is in three parts on Youtube. Watch part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here. This video was also aired in the Egyptian court as evidence against Greste:

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