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Brazil Targets Twitter Files Author Who Revealed Censorship Orders

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Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger, who has recently been covering the public clash between X owner Elon Musk and the President of Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) and Supreme Federal Court (STF) justice Alexandre de Moraes, is now likely to himself be targeted by one of those courts, the STF.

If the court starts a criminal prosecution against Shellenberger, it will be at the request of Brazil’s Attorney General Jorge Messias, who claims that there is information proving that the US journalist has committed a “probable crime” against the rule of law and institutions, along with an “attempt to destabilize the democratic state.”

Messias further accuses Shellenberger of disclosing confidential information related to the events of January 8, 2023.

The memo sent to STF says that the journalist on April 3 published, as part of the Twitter Files that concern Brazil, a number of emails exchanged by the court and X employees, which are referred to as “confidential files.”

And, of course, Shellenberger is “guilty” of making accusations against Moraes, Messias wrote, remarking that the journalist¬†– “attributes authoritarian and anti-democratic measures” to the STF justice.

Shellenberger has denied these claims made against him, in turn describing Messias’ move as an “abuse of power,” urging the country’s Congress to investigate and finally end such conduct, and noting that in a democracy, there is no law against “destabilizing the democratic state” through non-violent means.

That would pretty much be what politics is all about – given that in this case, the term “state” clearly refers to those currently in power.

Shellenberger said that President Lula and his allies are going after him for exposing “the government’s illegal censorship” and are in the process themselves spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories.

As for “confidential information – “None of the Twitter Files – Brazil contained ‘confidential judicial decisions’. The Twitter Files – Brazil were strictly emails between Twitter staff,” Shellenberger wrote on Substack.

“President Lula’s persecution of me for publishing accurate information is an attack on Brazil’s Constitution, which protects free speech and democracy, including for foreigners. I will fight back and win,” he said.

Shellenberger has also turned to the Organization of American States (OAS, which gathers all 35 countries on both continents) in a bid to obtain protection via a precautionary measure that is supposed to be brought before the Inter-American Commission.

In the application, the journalist said that he is at imminent risk of criminal prosecution in Brazil “for reporting legal and accurate information.”

Shellenberger accused Moraes of weaponizing the federal police in Brazil, including against him.

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