Photo: Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda
Brazil said Wednesday it is still waiting for a formal explanation from Britain of why the Brazilian partner of a journalist who has published Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. spying was detained for nine hours while in transit at London’s Heathrow airport.
“I continue to await a response to the formal written communication we sent requesting explanations,” Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota told the official Agencia Brasil news service.
Brazil’s foreign ministry has already summoned the British ambassador in Brasilia to express “grave concern” about the weekend incident and Patriota and Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague have discussed the matter in a telephone call.
British police’s detention of David Miranda under anti-terrorism legislation was “unjustifiable,” the Brazilian government said Sunday in a statement.
Six British police officers interrogated Miranda for nine hours - the maximum allowed before the subject must be either charged or released - and they confiscated his cellphone, laptop and other electronic devices.
Miranda is the partner of U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has published information from Snowden in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor, has provided evidence that Washington is monitoring the telephonic and online communications of millions of people around the world.
Miranda stopped in London en route back to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin, where he visited U.S. documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who is working with Greenwald and Snowden.
London claims it had a right to detain Miranda because he could have been carrying “stolen information that could help terrorists,” in the words of British Home Secretary Theresa May.
Greenwald and The Guardian, meanwhile, say Miranda’s detention was an attempt to intimidate them.