U.K. Labour party calls for Terror Act review after Greenwald partner detention

David Miranda was held for nine hours at Heathrow airport on the way from visiting Laura Poitras

By Natasha Lennard
Published August 19, 2013 1:15PM (EDT)

Following the nine-hour detention by U.K. authorities at Heathrow airport of Glenn Greenwald's long-term partner, David Miranda, under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, British politicians have called for a review of the act and its application.

Greenwald and others, including Brazilian officials, decried Miranda's detention as "a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process." Miranda was en route from Berlin, having visited Laura Poitras -- the filmmaker who has helped publish the NSA leaks.

According to the Guardian Monday, the U.K.'s Labour party has "called for an urgent investigation into the use of anti-terror powers" following the Miranda incident.

Detaining the loved ones and family members of journalists, working on controversial stories exposing governmental malfeasance, is in dire need of explaining:

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said ministers must find out whether anti-terror laws had been "misused", after Miranda was held for nine hours by authorities at Heathrow airport under the Terrorism Act.

Cooper said public support for the schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act could be undermined if there is a perception it is not being used for the right purposes. "Any suggestion that terror powers are being misused must be investigated and clarified urgently," she said. "The public support for these powers must not be endangered by a perception of misuse.

"The independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson, has already warned of the importance of using schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act appropriately and proportionately. The purpose of schedule 7 is to determine whether or not someone is involved in or associated with terror activity. The Home Office and police need to explain rapidly how they can justify using that purpose under the terrorism legislation to detain David Miranda for nine hours. This has caused considerable consternation and swift answers are needed.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

David Miranda Detention Glenn Greenwald Heathrow Labour Nsa Terrorism Act U.k.