Greste’s parents to tell Peter of media award

Reporter Peter Greste, the Latvian-American member of the Al-Jazeera Egypt field team currently being held in a Cairo prison, has received Australia’s Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in absentia.

Accepting the award on Peter’s behalf on December 4, his brother Andrew said that their parents Juris and Lois would be telling him about the award when they are next scheduled to visit him in jail, otherwise it’s possible he may not even be aware that his nomination was recognized at this point.

"It may have been reported in Egypt and word may have got inside the prison but if he hasn't heard from the unofficial prison grapevine, mum and dad are over there and when they visit him next, he'll hear the good news."

But what the Greste family wants for Christmas most of all is to have Peter home.

"Christmas is a special time and it's been a really tough year for our family," Andrew told 9news.

As for prospects that Greste and his colleagues could see an expedited release thanks to new presidential powers of decree under which a deportation scenario has been floated as a possible move by President Al-Sisi, Andrew expressed cautious optimism:

“The Egyptian Government are great at saying things and not backing it up, now we want to see some action given he’s done nothing wrong,” Andrew Greste said. 

“We see a window of opportunity at the moment, before the appeal starts on the first of January, for this to be dealt with and for some diplomacy to take place.

Latvian and Australian diplomats have recently conferred about measures they can take to assist the family getting Peter freed.

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