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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 60


Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (13:41): I rise to express my relief at the release of Australian Al Jazeera journalist, Peter Greste, from Egypt's Tora prison after 400 days of enduring arrest, imprisonment and trial based on false charges, zero evidence and unfair processes. It has been inspirational to watch the Greste family, Peter's parents Lois and Juris, and his brothers Michael and Andrew, campaigning with dignity and tenacity to see Peter freed and their incredible joy at the reunion with Peter on Australian soil.

I thank the global media community, Amnesty International and the many people in this place and in Australia and beyond who have campaigned on the issue of freedom for the Al Jazeera journalists. It is a testament to Peter's character that he wishes to return to journalism and that he will continue to campaign for the release of his Al Jazeera colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed with whom he was imprisoned for 400 days and who are family to him now; as well as for the acquittals of colleagues convicted in absentia who must live with this injustice hanging over the heads.

I also wish to pay tribute to Kenji Goto, the Japanese journalist and humanitarian, who was brutally killed by IS. More than ever, journalism is coming under attack. Unfortunately, such attacks are not only coming from terrorists and undemocratic governments. This parliament has recently passed national security laws that would see journalists jailed for up to 10 years for publishing details of a security intelligence operation and the government's proposed data retention bill would severely compromise journalists and their sources. It is vital that our statement that 'journalism is not a crime' is matched by our actions and laws.