from the temporary-relief dept
We’ve already discussed how the “cybercrime” charges against Glenn Greenwald in Brazil for his reporting activities were a clear attack on a free press — especially given that a court and the Federal Police had already said he didn’t do anything wrong. In a bit of a temporary reprieve, a judge has now refused to move forward with the charges against Greenwald, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change down the road:
In a decision announced Thursday, Judge Ricardo Augusto Soares Leite ruled that Greenwald?s prosecution would not go forward, but only on account of a previous finding by the Brazilian Supreme Court that The Intercept?s reporting on Operation Car Wash had not transgressed any legal boundaries. In the absence of the injunction issued by a Supreme Court minister that prohibited investigations into Greenwald related to this case, Leite said he would have let the charges against Greenwald move forward. The judge also said that, if the Supreme Court injunction were to be overturned, he would be open to charging Greenwald.
?I decline, for now, to receive the complaint against GLENN GREENWALD, due to the controversy over the extent of the injunction granted by Minister Gilmar Mendes in ADPF n? 601, on 08/24/2019,? Leite wrote, referring to the ruling by Mendes, a Supreme Court minister.
This is, at least, a minor victory, but the situation still remains hugely problematic, and creates a significant chilling effect for journalists, showing just how far the Brazilian government will go to intimidate and silence journalists exposing wrongdoing by the government. Even the fact that the judge is making it clear that without the earlier Supreme Court injunction he’d move forward should be quite chilling in its own right (especially when other journalist are unlikely to have a similar injunction sitting in their pocket).
Make no mistake about it: the Bolsonairo government is deliberately attempting to intimidate the press to push back on investigative reporting into alleged corruption.