The Intercept condemns in the strongest possible terms the retaliatory investigation launched by the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police against The Intercept Brasil Executive Editor Leandro Demori.
On May 8, Demori raised questions in a newsletter about whether a Civil Police division known as CORE was effectively working as an assassination squad. Days earlier, CORE had committed the deadliest police massacre in the city’s history.
This week, we learned that instead of investigating CORE, the police were coming after Demori.
A Brazilian news outlet reported that a top police official known for launching meritless, politicized probes had initiated an investigation into Demori on May 12. Demori has been called into the police station for an interrogation, but The Intercept is resisting the summons with the help of our legal team.
We stand behind Demori and his reporting. This is yet another naked attempt to repress The Intercept Brasil’s journalism, and as our Brazil team said in a statement, “The Intercept won’t bow to that, ever.”
Press freedom in Brazil is under attack: Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has helped create a climate of repression and fear for journalists — and it’s not the first time the authorities have come after The Intercept for its groundbreaking reporting. In all the other cases, the charges failed to move forward.
We expect that this farcical investigation, undertaken to distract from hard questions about Rio’s police force, will be immediately dropped and Demori cleared of any wrongdoing.
In the meantime, we will continue our important reporting on police violence and corruption in Brazil.