Brazil's top court has blocked the Bolsonaro government from investigating US journalist Glenn Greenwald. In the last two months, Greenwald has published a series of damning articles about Brazil's justice minister.
Brazil's Supreme Court has barred President Jair Bolsonaro's government from investigating US journalist Glenn Greenwald and the news website he co-founded, saying any effort to investigate journalists would "constitute an unambiguous act of censorship."
Press freedom groups hailed the ruling on Friday. The Committee to Protect Journalists said it "reinforces the principle of confidentiality of sources, which is paramount to the protection of a free press." The group added, however, that it still had concerns about deteriorating conditions for the independent press in Brazil.
The court's decision came after President Bolsonaro's far-right government threatened Greenwald with an investigation and imprisonment after his news website, The Intercept, published a series of articles about the country's justice minister, Sergio Moro.
The articles — based on leaked documents — ask whether Moro improperly consulted with prosecutors in an effort to jail former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and prevent him from winning the 2018 presidential election.
Opinion polls had indicated Jair Bolsonaro (L) would lose to Lula in a presidential election. Moro (R), who oversaw the investigation that jailed Lula, now serves as Bolsonaro's justice minister.
The reports suggest that Moro could have teamed up with prosecutors in the anti-corruption probe known as "Car Wash," which led to Lula's jailing. If it is proven that Moro colluded with the "Car Wash" prosecutors, it could lead to the annulment of Lula's sentence. Both Moro and the case's prosecutors have denied any wrongdoing.
The court decision, written by Justice Gilmar Mendes, said that "the constitutional secrecy" around journalistic sources prevented the Brazilian government from using "coercive measures" against Greenwald.
bw/kl (AP, EFE)