Sports blogger Paulo Cezar de Andrade Prado is serving a prison sentence for criminal defamation. (Fernanda D' O Neil Ramos)

CPJ calls on Brazil to end its use of criminal defamation to persecute journalists

December 13, 2018 6:18 PM ET

New York, December 13, 2018--Brazilian authorities should cease prosecuting journalists for defamation and repeal the country's outdated criminal defamation laws, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police took Paulo Cezar de Andrade Prado, a blogger known as "Paulinho," into custody on November 9 to serve a prison sentence for criminal defamation, according to local rights groups.

"Defamation cases should be resolved in civil court and journalists like Paulo Cezar de Andrade Prado should not have to face jail time because of their work," said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna. "Brazilian lawmakers should repeal the country's criminal defamation laws and ensure the press can work without fear of reprisal."

Prado is serving one month and 23 days in prison after a court in September convicted him of defamation, according to Article 19 and Fabio Luiz Oliveira, one of the lawyers representing Prado. The sentence comes after a sports presenter filed a complaint in 2013 alleging that Prado insulted him in a blog post on his sports site, Blog do Paulinho, according to the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI).

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