Guardian journalist’s partner detained for hours at Heathrow
David Miranda, partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was held for nine hours on Sunday at London Heathrow Airport under British anti-terror legislation.
On his way home from Berlin, Miranda was making a stop over at Heathrow Airport waiting to fly back to Rio de Janeiro, where he lives with Mr Greenwald. At 8.05am Mr Miranda was stopped by police officers and questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. After nine hours the man was released without charge but all his electronics, including his mobile phone, laptop and various video games consoles, were confiscated.
Glenn Greenwald is known for being behind several stories on US mass surveillance programmes. His partner was in Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who worked with Greenwald on the NSA stories.
After Greenwald found out that his partner was being held by the British police, he immediately contacted the Guardian, which sent lawyers to the airport, as well as various Brazilian officials.
Greenwald stated: “Within the hour, several senior Brazilian officials were engaged and expressing indignation over what was being done. Despite all that, five more hours went by and neither the Guardian’s lawyers nor Brazilian officials, including the Ambassador to the UK in London, were able to obtain any information about David.”
In an article on the Guardian, Mr Greenwald accuses the officials of having questioned Mr Miranda only about the NSA reporting and his meeting with Ms Poitras.
He claims “they completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism”.
There are currently many disagreements on the British anti-terrorism law.
According to a document released by the UK government, fewer than three people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders. Moreover, most examinations, over 97%, last under an hour.
The Home Office hasn’t made any statement yet, therefore, it is still unclear the reason behind Mr Miranda’s interrogation.