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THE arrest of journalist Glenn Greenwald on charges of cybercrimes was described by Bernie Sanders today as an “authoritarian attack on press freedom and the rule of law.”
Mr Greenwald was detained on Tuesday amid his targeting by Brazilian authorities for stories exposing high-level corruption in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.
The explosive series of articles in the Intercept includes leaked messages purporting to show collusion between now justice minister Sergio Moro and prosecutors during trials, most notably that of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Mr Moro presided over the trial which led to Lula — then Mr Bolsonaro’s main rival for the Brazilian presidency — being jailed on trumped-up corruption charges.
Brazil’s government claims that Mr Greenwald is part of a “criminal enterprise” of hackers, though this has been dismissed by federal police.
And Mr Greenwald has faced constant threats from Mr Bolsonaro who said that the journalist “may do jail time” despite a Brazilian judge dismissing that prospect.
Both him and his partner, lawmaker David Miranda, have faced homophobic slurs from Mr Bolsonaro along with threats of physical violence.
Mr Greenwald refused to be bowed, saying: “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.”
Mr Greenwald thanked Mr Sanders yesterday after the Democratic presidential hopeful said: “The free press is never more important than when it exposes wrongdoing by the powerful.
“That is why President Bolsonaro is threatening Glenn Greenwald for the ‘crime’ of doing journalism.
“I call on Brazil to end its authoritarian attack on press freedom and the rule of law.”
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