To everyone’s regret, given the current state of secrecy and political repression, the detention of Glenn Greenwald’s partner seems to have become the norm, rather than the exception. David Miranda, detained at London’s Heathrow airport earlier this week, is yet another example of the use of draconian “anti-terror” legislation in the US and UK to intimidate whistleblowers, journalists and their families, and anyone confronting the surveillance/police state directly.
Not just another flight delay
Early Sunday morning, while attempting to connect to a British Airways flight home to Brazil, Miranda was detained by British security officials under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000. The law, ostensibly put in place to aid law enforcement in terrorism-related investigations, allows security officials to seize, search, and hold without charge anyone or anything they suspect as being connected in any way with terrorism.
Despite there being absolutely no suspicion of Mr. Miranda’s involvement in any such activities, he was held for the maximum, legally allowed nine hours. During his detention, Miranda had his belongings, including his mobile phone, laptop, and other electronic devices, seized. At the same time he was prevented from speaking with any legal representation. Though this is legally permissible according to the Terrorism Act, it flies in the face of the accepted rule of law in the Western world.
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com.