The decision to charge the American journalist with cybercrimes is an attack on democracy as well as press freedom

The campaign in Brazil against the investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald could hardly look more personal. The country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, suggested last year that the American “may do jail time”, and has used homophobic slurs against him. Mr Greenwald and his husband, the Brazilian congressman David Miranda, have faced not only lies and verbal attacks but death threats: “Neither my husband, nor I, nor our children, have left our house in the last year without armed security, armoured vehicles, teams of security,” he said this week.

Now Mr Greenwald, an outspoken critic of the president, has been charged with cybercrimes over the publication of leaked phone messages apparently showing collusion between prosecutors and Sérgio Moro, then a judge, but now justice minister. They fuelled concerns about the huge Car Wash anti-corruption investigation: while it uncovered shocking abuses, it also raised suspicions of political bias. Mr Moro oversaw the trial that led to the jailing of the popular former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose conviction eased Mr Bolsonaro’s election.

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