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January 14, 2014updated 15 Jan 2014 4:02pm

Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste kept in solitary confinement by Egyptian authorities

By Emma McGarthy

New information has come to light on one of the three Al Jaazera English journalists currently detained by Egyptian authorities, accused of collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The journalists were arrested on 29 December  and have been detained since then. 

The journalists are Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy.

A friend of Greste's, Debbie Mules, told Press Gazette: "He is in solitary confinement at Tora high security prison – with no personal effects.”

It was initially said that the journalists would be detained for 15 days, but Mules says this was extended by a further 15 days on Monday.

She said: “Peter is particularly concerned about his local colleagues, who are being kept in worse conditions than he is as a Westerner.”

Greste is Australian and Mules told Press Gazette the Australian Government is trying to get Greste released and has provided him with consular visits.

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She added: “We think they may not have huge clout in Egypt without international awareness.

“We understand Aljazeera Arabic has been seen as pro Morsi – although the English service was being careful to stay neutral.”

According to Mules, Greste usually works further south in Africa, and was in Egypt as holiday cover.

His brother Andrew told Press Gazette: "He is being held without charge and is scheduled to face the prosecutor again on Jan 23 when they will review his detention. Currently there are no other court dates or questioning planned. The detention order states that there is sufficient grounds for Mr Greste to remain in custody ‘in the interest of the investigation’."

He added: "We understand he is being housed in a part of Tora prison that holds other political prisoners, and is receiving adequate food and water. Peter has been uplifted when he found out about the amount of international attention and support this case is receiving."

A  petition signed by over 40 journalists has been handed to the the Egyptian President and State Information Service. Greste's family are waiting for approval from Egyptian authorities for the Australian Embassy to visit him today.

According to CBC news the Egyptian Interior Ministry has accused one of the three arrested, but has not released a name, of using a hotel suite as a media centre for the Muslim Brotherhood group, where it broadcast "rumours and false news" and held organisational meetings for Brotherhood members.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

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