Friday, December 3, 2021

LAWYERS SAY JOURNALIST’S PARTNER WAS NO TERRORIST

November 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Lawyers for David Miranda, the partner of former Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald who was detained at London’s Heathrow airport and questioned under Britain’s Terrorism Act 2000 last August, appeared in a London court today (Wednesday) to argue that his detention was unlawful. Miranda, a Brazilian national, had been returning from Berlin, where he had met with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who, like Greenwald, has been involved in releasing classified information about the spying operations of the NSA leaked by Edward Snowden. Police at the airport also seized Miranda’s laptop computer, thumbdrives, and other electronic devices that he was carrying. Miranda’s lawyers argued that he was in no way involved in terrorism and that his right to freedom of expression had been infringed. Last week, however, the British government issued a statement saying that the disclosure of the Snowden material “is designed to influence a government and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism.” The statement prompted Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, to write that the statement represented “exactly the type of attack on press freedom the US State Department regularly condemns in authoritarian countries.” For example, only last year the U.S. condemned the jailing of Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega under the country’s anti-terrorism laws, noting that such laws “can sometimes undermine freedom of expression and independent media” and only last month condemned Morocco’s jailing of a journalist on charges of terrorism for linking to a controversial YouTube video.