British police detained David Miranda for nearly nine hours at London Heathrow Airport Sunday. Miranda lives in Brazil with Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who has broken many major stories based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“I immediately contacted the Guardian, which sent lawyers to the airport, as well various Brazilian officials I know,” Greenwald writes. “Within the hour, several senior Brazilian officials were engaged and expressing indignation over what was being done.”
Miranda “had spent the previous week in Berlin visiting Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker who has also been helping to disseminate Mr. Snowden’s leaks, to assist Mr. Greenwald,” Charlie Savage and Michael Schwirtz report in The New York Times. “The Guardian had paid for the trip, Mr. Greenwald said, and Mr. Miranda was on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.”
Poynter asked Guardian spokesperson Gennady Kolker whether Miranda was working for the Guardian on the trip. “[T]hanks for asking, but we’re not commenting further at this point in time,” Kolker said in an email.
“He is my partner. He is not even a journalist,” Greenwald told Savage and Schwirtz.
The police “confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles,” the Guardian reports. A police statement said Miranda “had been lawfully detained under the Terrorism Act and later released, without going into detail,” the Times reports.
“Holding and properly using intelligence gained from such stops is a key part of fighting crime, pursuing offenders and protecting the public,” the statement said.
David Anderson is a Queen’s Counsel who’s conducting an independent review of terrorism legislation in the U.K. He told the BBC “it was very unusual for a passenger to be held for nine hours under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and he wanted to ‘get to the bottom’ of what had happened,” the Beeb reports. On Twitter, Anderson has linked to reports and blog posts he’s written about Schedule 7.
— David Anderson (@terrorwatchdog) August 19, 2013
“[A]ny journalist passing through London’s Heathrow has now been warned: do not take any documents with you,” Andrew Sullivan writes. “Britain is now a police state when it comes to journalists, just like Russia is.”
Here’s this morning’s Guardian front: