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British authorities have come under pressure on Monday to explain why an anti-terrorism law was used to detain the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian newspaper at London’s Heathrow Airport for the maximum period of nine hours permitted under the legislation.
No charges were brought against Brazilian national, David Miranda, who was in transit en route from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro.
Speaking at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport the American journalist said he was “going to do a much more aggressive report” and will “publish many things about the United Kingdom”. He added that his focus will on documents about the United Kingdom’s intelligence system” and warned that “they will regret what they have done.”
Greenwald has published a series of articles based on documents leaked by former United States National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, who faces charges in the U.S. and is currently in Russia after being granted temporary asylum.
The Brazilian Foreign Minister said a message had been sent clearly “detailing the position” of the Brazilian government regarding the detention. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota said that it was “unjustifiable” and was “based on a law that is applicable for terrorism suspects”. He added that the government “hope it doesn’t happen again” and would “speak with the British Foreign Minister, William Hague.”
Miranda was held under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows police to stop and question people travelling through ports and airports to determine whether they are involved in planning terrorist acts. The British Home Office said it had been “an operational police matter.”