MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – The partner of a Guardian journalist who worked with Edward Snowden has threatened legal action against the British government over being detained Sunday at Heathrow Airport, the BBC said Tuesday.
David Michael Miranda was detained while in transit and was held in detention for nearly nine hours. He is in a relationship with Glenn Greenwald, who analyzed and published information from documents leaked by Snowden.
Miranda said that he was questioned about his "entire life," and that a computer, video games, cellphone and memory cards were seized from him.
He is now taking action to challenge the legality of his detention and to prevent the police from examining the seized electronic items, the BBC reported.
Law firm Bindmans has requested assurances that "there will be no inspection, copying, disclosure, transfer, distribution or interference, in any way, with our client's data, pending determination of our client's claim."
The detention, which sparked worldwide condemnation, was carried out under the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals at airports, ports and border areas.
Amnesty International on Monday said the detention was “unlawful and unwarranted” and showed “how the law can be abused for petty vindictive reasons.”
Britain's Home Office on Tuesday defended Miranda's detention, saying “the use of the power in this case was legally and procedurally sound.”
"If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act, and the law provides them with a framework to do that," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
"Those who oppose this sort of action need to think about what they are condoning," the statement reads.
Dunja Mijatovic, media freedoms chief at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Miranda’s detention and questioning could be interpreted as an attempt to put pressure on Greenwald.
“I am worried, and I have also expressed my concern in a letter to the UK authorities yesterday,” she said. “The whole incident sends a chilling message to any member of the media and their families transiting through the UK.”