Peter Greste's parents get brief jail visit

Last updated 11:39 04/07/2014
Peter Greste
AL YOUM AL SAABI NEWSPAPER/Reuters
BEHIND BARS: Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has been imprisoned in Egypt since December 29.

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Peter Greste's mother has described visiting her son in an Egyptian prison for the first time as one of the most difficult days of her life.

Lois Greste and her husband Juris' first meeting with their son since he was sentenced to seven years in jail was fleeting, lasting less than an hour.

The Grestes were permitted face to face contact in a communal meeting room along with other families, overseen by a guard.

There were moments of privacy, with Ms Greste able to hug her son.

But the intimacy was brief.

"We thought we had two hours, but it ended up only 45 minutes. It was very emotional to start off with of course," Ms Greste told ABC radio today.

"Then we had to speed through all the important things, and before we knew it our time was up."

Greste and two of his Al Jazeera colleagues were found guilty last month of reporting false news in the wake of the 2013 coup that ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Their jail sentences sparked international condemnation, with diplomatic pressure heaped on the Egyptian authorities to intervene and overturn the convictions.

Ms Greste - who with her husband rallied media support throughout her son's plight - said driving through checkpoints to the prison on the outskirts of the desert was an ordeal.

"I think it was probably one of the most difficult days of my life," she said.

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- AAP

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