The New York Times reported this morning that Glenn Greenwald, award-winning investigative journalist and a founding member of our board of directors, has been charged in Brazil with “cybercrimes” for reporting on leaked cellphone messages showing widespread corruption of Brazilian public officials.
This outrageous attack on press freedom is clearly an intimidation tactic from embarrassed prosecutors. It must not be tolerated. Greenwald and his reporting at The Intercept Brazil have been the subject of frequent verbal attacks from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and even a police investigation — conduct that has already been declared a violation of Brazil’s constitution by the country’s Supreme Court. Today’s charges represent a flagrant disregard for that court order.
Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm released this statement:
Glenn Greenwald is our friend and long-time colleague, and he has bravely fought for journalistic freedom throughout his entire career. These sham charges are a sickening escalation of the Bolsonaro administration’s authoritarian attacks on press freedom and the rule of law. They cannot be allowed to stand. We call on the Brazilian government to immediately halt its persecution of Greenwald and respect press freedom — as the Brazilian Supreme Court has already ordered them to do. In the meantime, we dearly hope Glenn is safe and is able to continue doing his job as a journalist.
Greenwald released his own statement to the Daily Beast, saying in part:
We will not be intimidated by these tyrannical attempts to silence journalists. I am working right now on new reporting and will continue to do so. Many courageous Brazilians sacrificed their liberty and even life for Brazilian democracy and against repression, and I feel an obligation to continue their noble work.
Freedom of the Press Foundation will report more on this story as it develops.