Legal action is being brought against the police by David Miranda, the man who was detained for a nine hour period at Heathrow this Sunday, in order to prevent electronic personal items from being examined. Miranda was detained under provisions of the Terrorism Act and also happens to be the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald who works for the Guardian. The legal representatives of Mr Miranda have released a statement saying that the legality of the detention is what is being challenged on his behalf.
The Home Office was quick to comment on the situation supporting the detention of Mr Miranda by stating that the police are to act urgently if they have reasons to believe that a person may be in possession of information which can be used to assist terrorism. The Metropolitan Police commissioner as well as the home secretary have received a letter written by representatives from Bindmans seeking an assurance that Mr Miranda’s property will not be inspected, copied, transferred, disclosed or interfered with in any way prior to Mr Miranda’s claim being resolved.
The holding in detention of the 28 year old man has been widely disapproved of across senior political figures in Britain and Brazil as well as human rights groups. David Anderson QC who is the independent reviewer of terrorism law for the United Kingdom has described the time which Mr Miranda was detained for as unusual and is due to meet with the authorities to discuss the situation. Mr Miranda, a Brazilian citizen was detained at Heathrow where he was on his way to board a flight back to Brazil where he resides with his partner. The man was held under the authority of schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 which provides the police to question the suspect for up to a period of 9 hours in relation to any acts of terrorism.
The journalist has been heavily involved in breaking stories regarding Edward Snowden and his leaks which have made state surveillance a hot topic in the media in recent weeks. The police authorities however stand by the detention and justify it as being legal as per the Terrorism Act. A representative from the Home Office made a statement in which they said that the police as well as the government are duty bound to ensure the safety and security of the public and the nation.