London: Brazil criticised the Sunday detention “without justification” of the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has written a series of stories about secret US cyber-spying programmes.
Brazilian citizen David Miranda, 28, was held for nearly nine hours at London’s Heathrow airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, before being released without charge, British police said.
Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said it viewed the detention with “grave concern,” calling it unjustified “since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimate the use of that legislation.” British authorities did not comment on why Ms. Miranda had been detained. His laptop, mobile phone and other possessions were reportedly seized.
Writing in the Guardian, Greenwald described the detention as “despotic.” Opposition Labour Party Member of Parliament Tom Watson said it was “almost impossible to conclude, even without full knowledge of the case, that Miranda was a terrorist suspect,” and asked whether the British government had authorised his detention.
Miranda was in transit at Heathrow while travelling home to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin, where he met a filmmaker working with Greenwald on stories based on information provided by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.