Members of the Brazilian Supreme Court discuss during session in March 2019.

© Moura/SCO/STF

A Brazilian Supreme Court justice’s order that news sites Crusoé and O Antagonista take down an article mentioning him is an attack on the freedom of the press that is unacceptable in a democratic society. The justice also asked the federal police question the directors of the news outlets.

International human rights law is especially protective of the right to free expression in circumstances of public debate concerning public officials. The article, which reported a possible connection between the chief justice and a high-profile corruption case, is just such a case. Brazil’s Supreme Court should reverse this order, and the justice should refrain from any further attempts to censor or intimidate the journalists who reported the story.