The detention at Heathrow on Sunday of the Brazilian David Miranda is the sort of treatment western politicians love to deplore in Putin’s Russia or Ahmadinejad’s Iran. His “offence” under the 2000 Terrorism Act was apparently to be the partner of a journalist, Glenn Greenwald, who had reported for the Guardian on material released by the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
Amnesty International has condemned the detention of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner at a London airport as “unwarranted revenge tactics” based solely on his relationship with Greenwald.
David Miranda was detained when in transit at Heathrow under schedule seven of Britain’s Terrorism Act 2000, and held for almost nine hours – the maximum time allowable before further authority is required.
According to a document published by the UK government about Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, “fewer than 3 people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders” (David was not entering the UK but only transiting through to Rio). Moreover, “most examinations, over 97%, last under an hour.” An appendix to that document states that only .06% of all people detained are kept for more than 6 hours.