British officials detained David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald–the gay political journalist who has been linked to the Edward Snowden affair–early Sunday at London’s Heathrow Airport.
According to the The Washington Post, Miranda was detained for nine hours, an unusually long time for such interrogations, under section 7 of British Terrorism Act of 200.
Miranda was not charged with violating any law, and it is highly unlikely authorities suspect the 28-year -old from Rio has any involvement with terrorism. Miranda was released but not before officials confiscated his laptop and cell phone.
Greenwald has penned exposes of the American government’s domestic surveillance programs. He contends that Miranda, who has assisted Greenwald in his pro-Snowden activities, was arrested only to “send a message of intimidation” to those trying to help Snowden release U.S. government wrongdoing.
Section 7 has been criticized for giving authorities almost unlimited power to detain, search and question almost anyone passing through British transport centers.
For his part, Greenwald insisted the detention backfired: “If the U.K. and U.S. governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further.”