Paulo Cezar de Andrade Prado (Paulinho)

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Authorities on November 9, 2018, took Paulo Cezar de Andrade Prado, a blogger known as “Paulinho,” into custody to serve a prison sentence for criminal defamation, according to local rights groups.

The charge relates to a defamation complaint filed in 2013 by Milton Neves, a sports presenter, who said that Prado insulted him in a blog post on his sports site, Blog do Paulinho,  according to the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI).

A court on September 15, 2015 convicted Prado of defamation and sentenced him to four months in prison, according to Article 19 and Fabio Luiz Oliveira, one of the lawyers representing Prado. The Court of Justice of São Paulo on September 9, 2016, reduced the sentence on appeal to one month and 23 days, to be served in a low-security facility, according to the same sources.  

The lawyer told CPJ that no reason was given for why police took Prado into custody in November 2018, but said it was likely that the two-year period that police have to act on a warrant was coming to an end.

Anderson Stigliani, who is also representing Prado, told CPJ that after the blogger was taken into custody, judicial officials found another outstanding arrest warrant for him in a separate defamation suit, in neighboring Paraná state. That case prompted a judge to move him to the high-security wing of the jail. He has since been allowed back into the low-security area, Stigliani said.

Luiz told CPJ he has not received details of the second case yet, and that it has not come to trial.

Prado has often criticized local soccer executives on Blog do Paulinho, a sports news site that that he launched in 2006.

The blogger has previously been jailed for his work. In 2015 he was sentenced to five months and 10 days in jail on defamation charges after the president of São Paulo soccer club accused him of invading his privacy by publishing messages and personal information from a WhatsApp conversation. He was released in November 2015 after 130 days in jail, according to ABRAJI.

The journalist is detained in Tremembé jail, in São Paulo state, about 90 miles northeast of the city of São Paulo. His lawyer told CPJ that Prado is in good health.

 

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