SPEECH TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MONDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2014
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Today is Peter Greste’s 49th birthday.
Instead of celebrating it with the people he loves – he will mark this day, as he has the last 337 days – in an Egyptian jail cell.
Our first thoughts today are with Peter, and his family.
His parents Juris and Lois and his brothers Mike and Andrew have won millions of admirers for their optimism and character throughout this ordeal.
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition and I wrote to Peter in June and we were touched to receive a reply from Peter from his Cairo prison cell, thanking Parliament, press and the Australian people for their overwhelming support.
The imprisonment of Peter Greste is a grievous injustice.
As Peter himself put it: ‘it is an affront to the freedom of expression’.
No journalist, no servant of the free press, should be put in jail for doing their job.
Until Peter Greste – and more than 200 other journalists around the world who currently languish in jail – are free – the freedom of all of us is diminished.
Let us all rededicate ourselves to the persistent and consistent diplomacy that will deliver Peter Greste’s freedom.
Let us all resolve that Peter Greste will spend his 50th birthday a free man.
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