Greste used Latvian passport to exit Egypt

Latvia’s London-based Ambassador to Australia Andris Teikmanis revealed to the national media Tuesday that journalist Peter Greste, who was held in an Egyptian jail with his colleagues from the Al Jazeera news network for more than a year, used his newly-issued Latvian passport to leave the country after he was freed and deported to Cyprus last month.

As reported by the Melbourne Herald-Sun, Teikmanis is visiting Latvian communities in Australia and will meet federal and state government officials including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

He shared the details of Greste’s release, explaining that the Latvian passport, which Greste had applied for through his father’s right to citizenship by birth, was only given over to him moments before his release.  “By the way, Peter Greste left Egypt with a Latvian passport for Cyprus,” said the Ambassador.

Teikmanis said that Latvia strongly lobbied the European Union and Egypt on Greste’s behalf.

“I think that this pressure made by Australia, by the European Union, by Latvia — has yielded good results,” he said.

Teikmanis met Greste a few weeks ago in London, where he officially invited the Australian-Latvian journalist to attend UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day to be held in the Latvian capital Riga on May 4.

Last week the Guardian released footage of Greste's return to Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where colleagues greeted him with applause and hugs. Meanwhile Greste's two colleagues on the Al Jazeera team - Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, are released on bail in Cairo but still face a retrial for the Egyptian prosecutors' trumped-up charges that they falsified news while reporting on the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

 

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