Journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner is taking legal action against the British government after he was detained for nine hours at Heathrow Airport.
Lawyers for David Miranda informed the government that they would be pursuing legal action following his “unlawful” detention under anti-terror laws on Sunday, the Guardian reported.
Miranda’s laptop and other equipment was confiscated on the grounds that police believed it could contain “highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism.” Miranda’s attorneys said in a letter they are seeking the return of the equipment within seven days.
“The government and the police have a duty to protect the public and our national security,” Britain’s Home Office said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that. Those who oppose this sort of action need to think about what they are condoning.”
The Guardian newspaper, which has published much of Greenwald’s reporting about admitted National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, is supportive of Miranda’s claim, though not taking action against the government itself, a spokesperson said.
“If the British state, in whatever form – we are not quite sure which bit of the British state we are dealing with – wants to get that material, then I think they have to do it through a more satisfactory procedure than this bizarre bit of the Terror Act that relates solely to ports and transit lounges of airports,” Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said.