Brazilian court decision to uphold censorship against Aos Fatos agency is 'judicial harassment,' say organizations

"Jurists and journalism defense entities qualified this Monday [June 12] as a restriction on press freedom the decision by the Rio Grande do Sul Court of Justice (TJ-RS, by its Portuguese acronym) to maintain censorship against [the agency] Aos Fatos at the request of Jornal da Cidade Online - a site that is being investigated by the Federal Supreme Court (TJ-RS) in the inquiry investigating anti-democratic acts.

In a joint statement, nine organizations defending journalism and freedom of expression condemned what they described as 'judicial harassment.' According to these organizations, the decision of the TJ-RS clashes with the STF investigation into the disinformation network of which Jornal da Cidade Online is a part.


Published by Aos Fatos in April 2020, the feature story revealed that Jornal da Cidade Online shared monetization tools and strategy through Google AdSense with several news sites. Among them was Verdade Sufocada, maintained by the widow of Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra (1932 - 2015 ), the first military officer convicted of kidnapping and torture during [Brazil's] military dictatorship (1964-1985). The investigation was based on codes shared by a network of websites, in a procedure later detailed by Jornal da Cidade Online itself.

The censored content was taken off the air this Monday [June 12], in compliance with the court decision. It is possible to appeal to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ)."

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