Parents of Australian journalist Peter Greste, Lois and Juris Greste
Parents of Australian journalist Peter Greste, Lois and Juris Greste DAN PELED/AAP

Parents of jailed journo describe seeing him on trial

WEARING black clothes to mark "the loss of human dignity, decency and compassion in so many places around the world", the parents of jailed Brisbane journalist Peter Greste spoke about the terrible emotional ordeal they were suffering.

Juris Greste said dismay and anger had washed over him as his son, 48, and his Al Jazeera English colleagues faced court in Egypt accused of airing false news and backing the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

He said in Brisbane on Friday morning that he had the worst 24 hours in his life after watching the "fortress" surrounding the men and seeing how the courts worked in Cairo.

"I found myself on such a fine hair-trigger,'' he said.

"I was like a highly-fused suicide vest. I was ready to kick walls and punch faces.

"I couldn't help but see my son inside there - a perfectly innocent person.

"Parenting never ends. Parenting goes until your last breath."

Mr Greste's mother Lois said her son had been able to tell other reporters public support was vital because it was protecting them during their incarceration.

She said he yelled out messages to his family saying "I love them, stay strong", "I'm okay" and "I feel your support".

The Grestes said the respected Egypt's right to run its justice system as it saw fit but they were increasingly concerned about their son's rights.

Mr Greste was one of eight journalists in a courtroom in Cairo on Thursday accused of threatening national security, among other allegations.

The trial was adjourned until March 5 after a 40-minute hearing.


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