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Glenn Greenwald insists intimidation of the press won't stop him

Glenn Greenwald speaks during a meeting at Commission of Constitution and Justice in Brasilia.  (Photo: Reuters)

Glenn Greenwald speaks during a meeting at Commission of Constitution and Justice in Brasilia.  (Photo: Reuters)

Brasilia, January 25 (RHC)-- U.S. journalist and editor of The Intercept Glenn Greenwald said that the complaint made to him by the Brazilian Prosecutor's Office for divulging conversations that compromise authorities is just an attempt to intimidate the press, and he will continue to publish the reports with which he has put Brazilian politics in check.

During an interview with the international news agency EFE in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives with his husband, the Brazilian leftist deputy, David Miranda, the journalist said that he will not be stopped by intimidation.  "We will continue our journalistic work until the end," he said.

The conversations, intercepted by Brazilian hackers on the servers of the Telegram application and to which the journalist had access, cast doubt on the impartiality of the current Brazilian Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro, when he was serving as chief judge of Lava Jato, especially in the trials that ended with the condemnation and imprisonment of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"This denunciation is an obvious attempt to attack the free press in retaliation for the revelations we reported about Minister Moro and the Government of (President Jair) Bolsonaro," the journalist said.  For Greenwald, the prosecution's complaint not only threatens the freedom of the press in Brazil, but is also part of a plan by the government of the far-right leader to "bring the country back to a dictatorial regime."

According to Greenwald, in his 30 years as congressman Bolsonaro repeated that he does not believe in democracy or the free press.  "Obviously much of the Bolsonaro movement wants to take the country back to the time of the dictatorship (1964-1985). I am very explicit about that and that is why this attempt to criminalize journalism, to attack the free press, to intimidate anyone who is against the government, to create a climate of fear, " he said.

Despite the fact that the Federal Police did not press charges against him and that a Supreme Court ruling prohibited him from being investigated for the exercise of his profession, the Prosecutor's Office included his name among the seven people reported last Tuesday for illegal interception and criminal association, for his responsibility in obtaining and divulging the conversations.

For the editor of The Intercept, the prosecutor's decision sets up a "clear and drastic abuse of power" because the Federal Police had already analyzed all the material and concluded that he did not commit "any crime" and that, on the contrary, he exercised "journalism in a very responsible and very cautious way."

"The accusation was not isolated. Last week a report had already been released according to which 54% of the attacks against journalists in Brazil were made by Bolsonaro. In addition, another prosecutor tried to criminalize criticism of Sergio Moro," he said.

"Bolsonaro is attacking and threatening journalists all the time. So this is obviously a plan, a goal of this government, to bring repression back to Brazil," he added.  Greenwald said his lawyers have already filed an appeal for the judge in charge to reject the complaint in the first instance and file it.

Meanwhile, several human rights and press freedom organizations worldwide, such as Amnesty International, Human Right Watch or CODEPINK, condemned the decision of the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office.

Edited by Ed Newman
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