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Glenn Greenwald: UK will be ‘sorry’ for detaining partner

Glenn Greenwald: UK will be ‘sorry’ for detaining partner

By Claire Carter and Andrew Marszal

Guardian journalist who wrote stories exposing mass American surveillance programmes says UK government will be “sorry” for holding his partner for nine hours under the Terrorism Act, and vows to publish further secrets.

David Miranda was passing through London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday on his way home to Rio de Janeiro when he was held by police.

Mr Miranda, who lives with the reporter Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who interviewed American whistleblower Edward Snowden, was stopped at 8am returning from a trip to Berlin.

Speaking to reporters at Rio de Janeiro’s airport, Mr Greenwald said Britain will be “sorry” for detaining his partner for nine hours.

Mr Greenwald said: “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents.

“I am going to publish things on England too. I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.”

The 28-year-old was held for nine hours – the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual – before being released without charge.

But the newspaper reported his electronic possessions including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles were confiscated.

The Brazilian government said it had objected to the detention of one of its citizens and expressed “grave concern” about steps taken by the British authorities that led to Miranda being “held incommunicado” at the airport.

A statement from the foreign ministry in Brasilia said its embassy in London contacted British officials prior to Miranda’s release and that Brazil would also be seeking an explanation from US officials about the incident.

“This measure is without justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can justify the use of that legislation,” added the statement.

The ministry added that it expected there would be no repeat of the incident.

While in Berlin, Mr Miranda visited Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on the Snowden files with Mr Greenwald and the Guardian.

”This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process,” said Mr Greenwald.

”To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ.

”The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere.

”But the last thing it will do is intimidate or deter us in any way from doing our job as journalists.

”Quite the contrary: it will only embolden us more to continue to report aggressively.”

The Guardian said that according to official figures, more than 97% of examinations under schedule 7 last less than an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained is kept for more than six hours.

Since June 5, Mr Greenwald has written a series of stories revealing the NSA‘s electronic surveillance programmes.

The broadsheet also published stories about blanket electronic surveillance by Britain’s GCHQ, also based on documents from Mr Snowden.

A Guardian spokesperson said: ”We were dismayed that the partner of a Guardian journalist who has been writing about the security services was detained for nearly nine hours while passing through Heathrow airport.

”We are urgently seeking clarification from the British authorities.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At 08:05 on Sunday 18 August 2013 a 28-year-old man was detained at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

“He was not arrested.

“He was subsequently released at 17:00.”

Widney Brown, Amnesty International’s senior director of international law and policy, said: “It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random, given the role his partner has played in revealing the truth about the unlawful nature of NSA surveillance.

“David’s detention was unlawful and inexcusable. He was detained under a law that violates any principle of fairness and his detention shows how the law can be abused for petty vindictive reasons.

“There is simply no basis for believing that David Michael Miranda presents any threat whatsoever to the UK Government. The only possible intent behind this detention was to harass him and his partner, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, for his role in analysing the data released by Edward Snowden.”


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Posted in Civil Rights and Privacy, Freedom of Speech, Liberty, Public Figures.

Tagged with British, David Miranda, Edward Snowden, GCHQ, Glenn Greenwald, Guardian, journalists, NSA, Police State, Snowden, surveillance, Terrorism Act.

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  1. The choice, a dead journalist or a fake one? | Dark Politics linked to this post on August 20, 2013

    […] This week we had, David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald who broke the Edward Snowden story held under anti terrorism laws at Heathrow airport. […]

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