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Thankfully, as of now, Greenwald remains free; a federal judge must affirm the charges before he is officially indicted. But make no mistake: this move by the Brazilian government is an outrageous attempt to retaliate against a journalist who has reported critically on Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro; its justice minister, Sergio Moro; and their allies and it reeks of authoritarianism.
Journalists everywhere should be disturbed by what this means for press freedom in the world's fifth-largest country.
Over the past year, Greenwald and the Intercept Brasil, where he is a founding editor, have published a series of explosive stories based on leaked text messages that show Moro, who was a judge at the time, closely coordinating with prosecutors during high-profile corruption trials. Most notably, Moro presided over the trial that sent Bolsonaro's main rival for the presidency, the former president Luiz Ina'cio Lula da Silva, to prison. After Bolsonaro was elected, Moro was quickly named justice minister.
Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to The (more...)