Judge orders Brazilian internet providers to censor blog that criticizes soccer executives

A São Paulo judge has ordered Brazilian ISPs to block access to journalist Paulo Cezar Prado’s “Blog do Paulinho” website, Mônica Bergamo reports for Folha de S. Paulo. The site is known for criticizing and making allegations against executives at the Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF) and major domestic clubs.

The decision came after a complaint by Franck Henouda, a businessman who works with local and international soccer teams, and who was accused by the journalist of laundering money. Comments on the blog were allegedly offensive to the executive’s relatives.

“It is unnecessary to say how absurd this decision is. It hurts freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Brazilian constitution,” the journalist wrote on his site, which, at the moment, is still visible in Brazil and abroad.

According to Paraná Blogs, Prado vowed to appeal the decision and said he would mirror his site on different web hosts worldwide to go around the censorship. His site is currently hosted in France, as his blog as been removed by some American and Brazilian hosts.

Recently one of those criticized in the Prado’s blog, CBF President Ricardo Teixeira, in an interview with Revista Piauí, upset sports journalists by threatening to selectively block press credentialing for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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.