[JURIST] An Al Jazeera reporter was released from prison on Sunday and deported after serving 400 days in a Cairo detention facility. Al Jazeera journalist and Australian national Peter Greste was imprisoned in Egypt after receiving a seven-year sentence for crimes that include supporting terrorist organizations. Greste and two other journalists were first arrested in December 2013, months after Al Jazeera took legal action [JURIST report] against the government for its alleged wrongful detainment of journalists for political reasons. Greste, along with Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, was jailed for falsifying news reports and associating with the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Currently the two other reporters remain in prison [Al Jazeera report], but Al Jazeera and other interest groups have continually pressed for their release. Greste has been moved from Cairo to Cyprus where he will eventually be reunited with his family.
Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder] that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile] from power. This unrest led the Egyptian government to enact a law [JURIST report] banning unauthorized protests in November 2013. Since the law was passed, numerous demonstrators have been detained, especially those affiliated with ousted former president Mohammad Morsi [BBC backgrounder] and his Muslim Brotherhood party. Last week Egyptian security forces arrested 516 Muslim Brotherhood supporters [JURIST report]. The week before that an Egyptian court ordered a retrial [JURIST report] for 152 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced in a mass trial last year. Also last month Egypt’s Court of Cassation ordered a retrial [JURIST report] for the three Al Jazeera journalists. In December an Egyptian criminal court sentenced 188 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death [JURIST report] for an August 2013 attack on a police station in the governate of Giza, widely known as the “Kerdasa massacre.”