Here at Editia we are so pleased that Peter Greste is finally “home” in Nairobi, Kenya, able to sleep in his own bed for the first time since late 2013. He left his apartment there to spend two weeks filling in for a colleague in Cairo and wound up in a prison cell for 400 days.
That said, we’re also looking forward to seeing him back in Australia for a few days in early December. Peter will speak at the Brisbane launch of Prison post: Letters of support for Peter Greste, alongside other members of the Greste family, at Avid Reader, 193 Boundary St, West End, Brisbane from 6pm-8pm on Tuesday, December 8. He’ll sign copies of the book too, making this the perfect opportunity to get all your Christmas shopping done at once.
We’ve now published the videos of the Sydney launch for the book featuring moving footage of Peter discussing the impact the letters had on his state of mind while in prison plus letter writer Wendy Harmer’s utterly gorgeous speech about why she got involved in the campaign. There are heart-rending words from two other letter writers, Brisbane activist Paige Garland and Sydney schoolgirl Pippa Pryor, and some great questions from the crowd who filled the space at Berkelouw’s in Paddington a few weeks back.
Check them all out on our YouTube channel here, or select individually:
Please share these videos and the link for the Brisbane launch widely, and remember to use the hashtags #freeajstaff and #journalismisnotacrime. Until he receives a pardon, Peter remains a convicted criminal in the eyes of Egyptian law. The campaign continues.
While foreign correspondent Peter Greste is free in Australia following his deportation from Egypt in February, he was convicted on terrorism charges in absentia on August 29, 2015. The campaign to clear his name and those of imprisoned Al Jazeera colleagues Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy continues.
After the three were found guilty of reporting false news and endangering Egypt’s national security at the end of the first trial in June 2014, the Greste family set up an email account for messages of support they could print out to take to Peter in prison. The trickle of emails that had begun with his arrest the previous December increased exponentially. Peter was staggered by the range and spirit of the notes.
“Whenever I find my resolve wavering; whenever I feel weak or angry or frustrated; whenever I lose sight of the ‘why’, I only need to dip into the huge pile of letters for the answer,” he said. “You’ve all given us and our families enormous strength; and for that I am hugely grateful.”
Now, readers will be moved by the emails just as Peter was. They can learn more about the award-winning journalist through the writings of friends and colleagues, and revisit the 400 days he spent in prison through the eyes of supporters. There are letters from names we recognise, like Wendy Harmer, Kaz Cooke, Tracey Spicer and Julie Bishop, and from ordinary women, men and children who hoped that stories from their everyday lives might make Peter’s time in prison more bearable.
Profits from this book will assist the Foreign Prisoner Support Service.
Peter will appear alongside letter writers Wendy Harmer, Paige Garland and Pippa Pryor at the launch at Berkelouw’s Paddington in Sydney on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 6.30pm. Please visit berkelouw.com.au for bookings.
Juris, Lois, Andrew, Kylie, Mike and Nikki Greste discuss Prison post in one of two book trailers promoting the book. Peter features in the other. Both will be available via Editia.com from Friday, September 4, 2015.
Publication date: September 4, 2015
Price: $9.99 (ebook) and $24.99 (print)
Extent: 260 pages
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