Brazil's former president: Greenwald the latest victim of country's eroding democracy

Brazil's former president: Greenwald the latest victim of country's eroding democracy
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Brazil's former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says that the nation's widely denounced charges of cybercrimes against journalist Glenn Greenwald are a further sign that its current administration, headed by Jair Bolsonaro, is eroding democratic norms.

In a Wednesday op-ed for The Washington Post, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wrote that the accusations facing Greenwald, a veteran of The Guardian who now works for The Intercept, reveal "a process that is weakening Brazilian democracy," and were retribution for an investigation led by Greenwald that exposed wrongdoing in the effort to charge Lula himself with corruption.

Lula left office in 2010, and has since been imprisoned on corruption charges and released as he appeals his conviction.

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"Greenwald’s investigation was key to demonstrating how Operation Car Wash violated my legal and human rights," Lula wrote. "So now they’re going after the press. The federal prosecutor who accused Greenwald violated a Brazilian Supreme Court order that protected Greenwald’s press freedom."

"The Intercept demonstrated that there was collusion between the judge and federal prosecutors overseeing the case. The judge, Sérgio Moro, is now President Jair Bolsonaro’s justice minister — his reward for politicizing the corruption investigation," he added.

Greenwald was charged Tuesday with being a member of a “criminal organization” and hacking into the phones of Brazilian officials. Greenwald has fiercely denied the charges, calling them politically motivated.

“Less than two months ago, after examining the same evidence cited today by Brazil’s Public Ministry, the Federal Police stated that not only have I never committed any crimes in my contacts with our source, but also that I exercised extreme caution as a journalist," he said in a statement.