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Peter Greste, seasoned foreign correspondent

February 1, 2015

Australian Peter Greste, who was released from an Egyptian prison and deported on Sunday, is a seasoned foreign correspondent who has covered conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Greste, who turned 49 in jail, worked for several news organisations including Reuters and the BBC before joining Al-Jazeera’s English news channel.

He was the BBC’s Kabul correspondent in 1995, where he watched the Taliban emerge, and he returned after the US-led invasion in 2001.

Since 2009, he was based in Nairobi from where he covered the Horn of Africa, winning the broadcasting industry’s prestigious Peabody Award in 2011 for the documentary, “Somalia: Land of Anarchy”.

Constantly on the road on reporting assignments, Sydney-born Greste has also served in Bosnia and headed the BBC’s South American operations from Mexico.

“From a young age, Peter Greste had an adventurous spirit and a strong send of social justice and fairness,” his supporters said on the campaigning website

Greste had been sentenced to seven years in prison along with a fellow Al-Jazeera reporter, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy, for allegedly aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group.

An Egyptian colleague, Baher Mohamed, was also sentenced to 10 years.

The arrest of the journalists in December 2013 prompted a global outcry, with Washington and the United Nations leading calls for their release.

An Egyptian court in January ordered a retrial, before President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi passed a law making Greste and Fahmy eligible for deportation.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.