David Miranda, Homosexual Rights Activist and Snowden Ally in Brazil, Dies at 37


David Miranda, a toddler of the Rio de Janeiro slums who turned a number one voice for homosexual rights in Brazil’s Congress and who performed a supporting position within the leak of labeled paperwork by Edward J. Snowden, died on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro. He was 37.

His husband, the American journalist Glenn Greenwald, stated Mr. Miranda died within the intensive care unit of a hospital after a nine-month wrestle with an belly an infection.

It was Mr. Miranda’s position in the Snowden leak that led to his political profession.

In 2013, Mr. Snowden, a former contractor with the Nationwide Safety Company, handed a trove of extremely labeled paperwork about American surveillance packages to Mr. Greenwald and a number of other different journalists, infuriating American officers and setting off a global debate over mass surveillance and privateness.

Mr. Miranda helped lead an effort to acquire asylum in Brazil for Mr. Snowden, who had flown to Hong Kong from Hawaii and was wished on legal expenses by the US. The marketing campaign attracted the assist of a variety of Brazilian celebrities, and the overseas relations and protection committee of the Brazilian Senate advisable granting asylum.

In the end the hassle failed, and Mr. Snowden flew to Russia, the place he was later granted citizenship.

That very same yr, 2013, Mr. Miranda was detained and interrogated for 9 hours by the British authorities at Heathrow Airport in London as he was touring from Berlin to Rio. He was carrying paperwork associated to the Snowden leaks, and the federal government confiscated his cellphone, laptop computer, digital camera, reminiscence sticks and DVDs.

An attraction within the case led to a 2016 courtroom ruling {that a} key a part of the regulation underneath which he had been detained, Britain’s Terrorism Act 2000, was “incompatible with the European conference on human rights.”

In a tweet on Tuesday, Mr. Snowden praised Mr. Miranda for his braveness.

“I’ll always remember that when the U.Ok. broke its personal legal guidelines to detain David as a ‘terrorist’ for daring to help an act of journalism — and threatened to throw him in a dungeon for the remainder of his life — he by no means faltered,” Mr. Snowden wrote. “As a substitute, he dared them to do it.”

That have was a political awakening for Mr. Miranda and gave him the title recognition to hunt a political profession in Brazil. In 2016, he ran for a Metropolis Council seat in Rio, pledging to defend L.G.B.T. rights and struggle inequality. He turned one of many council’s first overtly homosexual members.

Monica Benicio, a Rio councilwoman and homosexual rights advocate, stated in an interview that Mr. Miranda had been a born chief who “turned an emblem of the struggle for L.G.B.T. rights in Brazil and overseas.”

In 2019, when Jean Wyllys, an overtly homosexual member of Congress, resigned and went into self-imposed exile due to demise threats, Mr. Miranda was appointed by the Socialism and Liberty Social gathering to take his place.

He instantly turned a foil for Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who was identified for his incendiary feedback about ladies and homosexual and Black folks. Shortly after Mr. Wyllys gave up his seat, Mr. Bolsonaro tweeted, “Nice day!”

“One L.G.B.T. particular person is leaving, however one other is coming in,” Mr. Miranda replied. “See you in Brasília,” the nation’s capital.

Mr. Miranda was attacked by Mr. Bolsonaro’s allies in Congress, throwing him off steadiness simply as he was making an attempt to get his bearings in an establishment the place most lawmakers had been rich white males.

“I used to be feeling like I didn’t belong,” he stated in a 2019 interview with The New York Occasions. “Everybody else appeared like they knew what they had been doing.”

His battle with the Bolsonaro administration intensified a couple of months later, when Mr. Greenwald’s information group, Intercept Brasil, printed stories suggesting that Mr. Bolsonaro’s foremost opponent within the race, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, had been improperly jailed simply six months earlier than the election, elevating questions concerning the legitimacy of Mr. Bolsonaro’s victory.

Mr. Greenwald and Mr. Miranda stated they’d each confronted demise threats in addition to “official acts of reprisal.”

Mr. Miranda continued to be a fierce opponent of the Bolsonaro authorities, criticizing its finances cuts in schooling and tradition and accusing it of mishandling the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was operating to be elected to the seat he held when he was hospitalized for a gastrointestinal an infection in August 2022.

David Michael dos Santos Miranda was born on Could 10, 1985, in Rio de Janeiro. He was the son of a prostitute, who died when he was 5, and was raised by an aunt in Jacarezinho, a favela within the metropolis. He dropped out of college when he was 13.

He was 19 when he met Mr. Greenwald, then a 37-year-old New York lawyer, on a seaside in Rio after by chance knocking over Mr. Greenwald’s drink with a ball.

Three days later, they moved in collectively. Mr. Miranda quickly resumed his research and earned a level in journalism. They adopted two youngsters in 2018 and a 3rd in 2021.

Along with Mr. Greenwald, their sons João Victor, Jonathas and Marcelo survive him.

In October, Brazilian voters ousted Mr. Bolsonaro and elected Mr. Lula to switch him.

Mr. Lula praised Mr. Miranda on Tuesday as a younger man with “extraordinary trajectory.”

That trajectory — a homosexual, Black orphan’s path from a Rio slum to the halls of Congress — Mr. Greenwald informed The Occasions, was “all too uncommon in a rustic stricken by large racial and financial inequality.”


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