Latvia protests Greste sentence in Egypt

Latvia's Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs has sent a letter to his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry protesting the stiff sentence handed out to Al Jaeera journalist and dual Latvian-Australian citizen Peter Greste, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“In his letter Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed his concern regarding the verdict of the Court of First Instance and expressed his hopes that the Court of Appeal will thoroughly re-examine all materials of the case, thereby leading to release of Peter Greste and his colleagues. At the same time [he] called upon his counterpart to promote further the process of democratisation in Egypt, including the respect for the freedom of speech,” the Ministry said.

Greste was convicted by a Cairo court on June 23 along with two colleagues on charges of aiding a terrorist organisation for reporting on the activities of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and handed a seven-year prison sentence that attracted widespread international criticism.

Greste, born in Australia, registered for dual citizenship in Latvia based on entitlement rights through his father.

While Greste never formally collected his Latvian passport, he does possess Latvian citizenship and Latvian diplomats have repeatedly spoken out for his release while collaborating with their Australian counterparts.

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