Brazil: International call for press freedom following attacks against The Intercept journalists

Protection 3 min read
ARTICLE 19
Brazil: International call for press freedom following attacks against The Intercept journalists - Protection

ARTICLE 19 and 25 other press freedom and human rights organizations and media outlets named below strongly condemn the recent wave of attacks and threats against the investigative news website The Intercept Brasil. We call on the authorities to ensure respect for the constitutionally guaranteed right of journalists to protect the confidentiality of their sources.

The attacks began on 9 June 2019 after The Intercept Brasil published the first of a series of reports revealing apparent irregularities in the “Operation Car Wash” investigation, one of the most important corruption investigations in Brazilian history. To publish these revelations, which are based on documents provided by an anonymous source, The Intercept Brasil partnered with several Brazilian media outlets including the Folha de São Paulo newspaper and Veja magazine.

Since then, the staff of The Intercept Brasil and in particular, its founder Glenn Greenwald, have been subjected – especially on social networks – to countless insults, slurs and death threats accompanied by false information designed to undermine the credibility of its reporting. This harassment is symbolic and symptomatic of the difficulties encountered by all media workers who investigate sensitive stories in Brazil, where the journalists are often the targets of intimidation and persecution campaigns.

Our organisations view these attempts to undermine and attack the credibility of The Intercept Brasil and its partners as a grave threat to the freedom to inform. Not only are they designed to deflect the public’s attention from the content of the revelations but above all, they reinforce an increasingly hostile work environment for the media and especially for investigative journalism.

We remind the authorities that the Brazilian state has a duty to guarantee the protection of journalists and to investigate the serious threats received by the journalists at The Intercept Brasil and its partners.

Freedom of the press and information are pillars of democracy. They transcend political divisions and must be protected and guaranteed at all costs.

Signed by

ARTICLE 19

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF)

Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo

ABI

Amnesty International

Asociación de la Prensa de Madrid

Publica

Associação dos Correspondentes Estrangeiros

CPJ

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Freedom House

Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas

Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas de España

Global Editors Network

Inter American Press Association

IPI

IFEX

Instituto Vladimir Herzog

Intervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social

Human Rights Watch

MEDIAPART

Observatório da Imprensa

Pen International

The Guardian

Index

WITNESS Brasil

Read ARTICLE 19’s report on violations committed against communicators in Brazil during 2018