Greste issued Latvian passport in Cairo prison

Jailed Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, was formally handed out his Latvian passport, Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman Karlis Eihenbaums informed news agency LETA Tuesday.

The dual Australian-Latvian citizenship entitled him to the national identification document  he had never formally received, fulfilling a request he had made several months ago from the Cairo prison where he and two colleagues have begun multiple-year sentences dispensed in June.

The formality was made possible by prison authorities, who allowed the necessary biometric identification equipment to be set up inside the prison as a temporary mobile consular service station where Greste handed over his personal data and received the document, which he entrusted back to consular officials to pass on for his family to keep.

“Greste has been handed his passport, per his request it was passed on to his family for safe-keeping,” Eihenbaums said, adding that his morale is “stable.”

“He’s got a very positive attitude. He thanked the Foreign ministry several times for its support for him and his family,” he explained.

The Australian Embassy currently provides Greste with regular printed newspapers from home, through which he learns of the international reaction to his team’s jailing after a hasty and hostile trial in June.

However, the formality hardly brings him any closer to release, as appeals on the part of all three of the men have been lodged and must await their due hearings, by all accounts.

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