David Miranda Detained in Britain for Snowden Link: Misuse of Terrorism Law?

August 19, 2013 Updated: August 19, 2013

David Miranda of Brazil worked with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who analyzed and published information provided by U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden. On his way through London’s Heathrow Airport Sunday, heading home to Rio de Janeiro, Miranda was detained and questioned for almost nine hours under anti-terrorism laws.

Greenwald published an article in the Guardian on the incident Sunday, stating: “They obviously had zero suspicion that David was associated with a terrorist organization or involved in any terrorist plot. Instead, they spent their time interrogating him about the NSA reporting which Laura Poitras, the Guardian, and I are doing, as well the content of the electronic products he was carrying. They completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

Miranda was in Berlin meeting with Poitras, a filmmaker who is working on documenting the NSA stories. He was just passing through London. Greenwald cites a document on the Terrorism Act published by the UK government that states “fewer than three people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders,” and 97 percent of examinations last less than an hour. 

Keith Vaz, chairman of Britain’s home affairs committee, told AFP he is demanding an explanation from police on why the terrorism laws were used in this case. The police told AFP Miranda was detained, but released and not arrested. Brazil’s foreign ministry is also seeking answers.

The Epoch Times has contacted London authorities to request a comment, but has not yet received a reply.