Brazilian court releases dictatorship-era documents on president-elect

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  • November 17, 2010

By Maira Magro

The Superior Military Court (STM) has given the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper access to documents on President-elect Dilma Rousseff’s arrest and imprisonment during the dictatorship (1964-1985), Folha reports. Carlos Alberto Soares, the court’s top justice, had previously denied the paper access to the information, saying he was attempting to prevent it from being used for political purposes during the presidential election campaign.

Ten of the eleven court justices voted in favor of releasing the documents, arguing that not doing so would be censorship and violate press freedom. The one dissenting judge said the newspaper was going to invade the privacy of the president-elect.

While Folha’s lawyer celebrated the ruling, he said it was unfortunate that the release only happened after the elections, G1 reports. O Estado de S. Paulo explains that Rousseff and 71 other people are cited in the document, which includes descriptions of torture.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.