Aaron Schachter: I'm Aaron Schachter in for Marco Werman and this is The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. It's been 3 long and difficult years for Egypt since the pro-democracy revolution there began on January 25th, 2011. On the eve of that bitter sweet anniversary, Egyptians were rattled today by multiple blasts in Cairo. One targeted police headquarters and the capital. Egypt's interior minister, Mohammed Ebrahim, visited the scene and described the attack.
He said it was a suicide blast involving a pickup truck that drove right up to the building security perimeter. The violence in Cairo is especially troubling news for the parents of Australian reporter Peter Greste. Greste and 2 other journalists were arrested nearly a month ago by Egyptian authorities. The 3, who work for Al Jazeera English, are accused of broadcasting false news. Greste's father, Juris, calls the charges preposterous. He's asked the government for Peter's release and speaks with his son occasionally on the phone.
Juris Greste: Peter hasn't particularized his conditions except to say that he has enough food, enough of the other basic necessities and he assures that he's okay. What that means, we're not sure, he may just be protecting his mother, but he feels confident that he's bearing up to it. Our own family heritage has endured some difficult times over the generations and he's clearly inherited some of those toughness genes.
Schachter: Peter, when he worked for the BBC, was known as a pretty tough guy. He had some dangerous assignments. I bumped into him in Baghdad. Did he suggest, when he headed to Egypt, that he was concerned that it would be a tough assignment?
Greste: I think it's fair to say that he realized that Egypt was undergoing difficult times and this assignment wasn't going to be one of the easier ones.
Schachter: But I imagine he didn't expect a war zone necessarily?
Juris: He certainly did not, no. I'd say that the least of his expectations was to end up like this.
Schachter: You mentioned to us that the last 2 days have been especially rough for you and your wife. Why is that the case?
Greste: Well, his case was up for review yesterday, in fact. This was after the second period of detention of 15 days. That was nearly 30 days. His review did come up last night. We were obviously hoping and anticipating for the best. We received a call about midnight our time with the bad news that he received another 15 days of the same.
Schachter: Do you know what the next steps are for Peter? Is it just a waiting game at this point?
Greste: Indeed. That's one of the big problems that is so depressing, that while, apparently, there is a structured, legal procedure, we really don't know where it will lead. When you don't know the process and you can't prognosticate, even with best, local legal help how this will work out - this, as you can imagine, is quite harrowing for the parents and the rest of the family.
Schachter: Mr. Greste, as we said, Peter has been quite a few dangerous spots in the course of his career. As a parent, do you think it's worth it, what he does?
Greste: We obviously have nightmares sometimes when we know about the places that he's heading into but we are very proud of Peter. We have accepted the somewhat sad thought that he's doing what he loves, he believes in pursuing the truth and sharing and reporting on it as objectively as anybody can and we are fully supportive of that.
Schachter: Juris Greste is the father of Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste, in jail now in Cairo for a month and now, we just learned, for another 15 days at least. Mr. Greste, thank you so much for taking the time. We know you stayed up late there in Australia.
Greste: Not at all. My pleasure. And may I just add one other thing, and that is that it's not only just about Peter but it is about media freedom generally and especially some of Peter's colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who are no more guilty of any offense than Peter.
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