Detention of journalist's partner at Heathrow spurs calls for an investigation in the UK
The detention of David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald was major news in The Guardian, the NYT, and in social media many accused the U.K. government was working to intimidate and harass a journalist for their work.
Miranda was detained by government officials while traveling through Healthrow Airport, on his way home to brazil from a trip to Berlin where he visited Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker involved in the Edward Snowden news stories with Greenwald and the Guardian. His laptop and other equipment was confiscated by authorities and have not been returned as of yet. That equipment is said to contain documents related to the Snowden disclosures.
“This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process,” Greenwald said on Sunday. “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.”
Yvette Cooper, the Labour Party’s shadow home secretary, called for an investigation into the incident.
Miranda was detained for nearly nine hours and questioned by the Metropolitan Police Service who were using a provision in the Terrorism Act that allows them to detain a person of interest up to nine hours without having to formally arrest the person. Miranda was held then released just short of the nine hour limit and allowed to proceed to Brazil where he landed this morning and was met by Greenwald.