David Michael Miranda, a Guardian journalist who works with Glenn Greenwald and helped publish information from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, was detained today at the Heathrow Airport in London.
Rights group Amnesty International called the detention “unlawful and unwarranted.” It said that Miranda was detained while in transit in Heathrow and held for nearly nine hours. After nine hours the government would have had to seek further authority to continue the detention.
“It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random,” said Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International, in a statement. “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.”
Amnesty said that Miranda, a Brazilian national, “was detained under Schedule 7 of the UK terrorism Act of 2000, an extremely broad law which has repeatedly been criticized for making the abuse of individuals possible because it is so vague.”