Brazilian journalist indicted for not revealing source

In the Brazilian city of São José do Rio Preto, in the state of São Paulo, journalist Allan de Abreu has been indicted for allegedly disseminating secret court information, reported Diário da Região, the newspaper where Abreu works.

Abreu revealed in two reports published in May, information from police wiretaps in the so-called Tamburutaca operation, a year-old investigation of a corruption scheme. The day after the first story was published, the prosecutor called the reporter to find out who gave the newspaper the information. Getting no answer, the day after the second story ran, the prosecutor sought the indictment, acording to Diário da Região.

Brazilian journalist associations and legal specialists have characterized the indictment as a clear attempt to impede the press.

The National Association of Newspapers and the Brazilian Press Association lamented the attempt to criminalize the journalist for not revealing his sources.

According to the president of the Brazilian Order of Lawyers in São Paulo, Luiz Flávio Borges D’Urso, source confidentiality has no flexibility. The journalist-- although responsible for what he publishes -- cannot be restricted for not revealing a source, he said, according to Diário da Região.

Recently, the Constitution and Justice Commission of the House approved a bill, known as the Gag Law, making it a crime to leak information from a secret criminal investigation.

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.