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TMCNet:  Miranda to appeal High Court detention ruling [Western Morning News (England)]

[February 20, 2014]

Miranda to appeal High Court detention ruling [Western Morning News (England)]

(Western Morning News (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A journalist's partner held for nine hours at Heathrow under anti- terror laws has reacted angrily to a High Court decision that police and security services were legally justified in detaining him and examining material he was carrying. Brazilian David Miranda immediately took steps to appeal against the ruling.


Lord Justice Laws, sitting in London with two other judges, rejected Mr Miranda's claim that human rights and press freedom were both victims of the disproportionate decision to detain him at the airport.

The judge said material being carried by Mr Miranda on an external hard drive included 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents that constituted "raw data stolen from GCHQ".

The judge ruled there was "compelling evidence" that stopping and searching Mr Miranda was "imperative in the interests of national security", even though there was "an indirect interference with press freedom".

Mr Miranda, 28, is the partner of former Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald, who exposed secret information on US surveillance leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Articles based on some of the Snowden material were published by The Guardian and other news publications, and one of the leading figures in writing those articles was Mr Greenwald.

Mr Miranda said the court's ruling emphasised "what the world already knows - the UK has contempt for basic press freedoms". His solicitor Gwendolen Morgan confirmed he had applied for permission to appeal and said: "We look forward to the Court of Appeal considering the fundamentally important legal issues raised in our appeal in due course." A coalition of ten media and free speech organisations intervened to express concern about the use of anti-terror power against journalists.

Mr Greenwald said: "The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents, which the free world calls 'award- winning journalism', is actually tantamount to 'terrorism' - the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists." Home Secretary Theresa May welcomed the judgment and said it "overwhelmingly supports" action taken to protect national security.

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