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Legal action by detained Miranda
Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, right, and his partner David Miranda (AP/Janine Gibson, The Guardian)
David Miranda is to mount a legal challenge over his detention at Heathrow Airport under terror legislation, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has said.
Mr Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 as he changed planes on a journey from Berlin to his home in Brazil..
Mr Miranda claimed he was held for nine hours by agents who questioned him about his "entire life" and took his "computer, video game, mobile phone, my memory card - everything". Mr Rusbridger told the BBC that Mr Miranda is to launch a civil action over his detention.
Schedule 7 applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allowing officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.
Its use has been criticised by Mr Greenwald - the reporter who interviewed American whistleblower Edward Snowden - as a "profound attack on press freedoms and the news-gathering process", and has sparked widespread debate on the use of terror laws.
Guardian editor Mr Rusbridger told the BBC that Mr Miranda is launching a civil action over his detention. He said: "We will have to work out if that is legal or not, and that will be subject to legal challenge, I believe, by Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda because it's not clear that he was actually committing any offence in carrying material through Heathrow. I'm not aware of what that offence is."
He went on: "I think there will be a legal challenge to the use of this very controversial bit, this Schedule 7, of the Terrorism Act and its use to obtain journalistic material. A lot of journalists the world over fly through Heathrow and I think some of them now are going to be quite anxious about how the British authorities regard this bit of Britain that is not quite Britain but is Britain."
Asked if the Guardian would mount any challenge, he said: "At the moment this is a legal challenge by David Miranda, who is the individual, and he has lawyers who will mount that challenge."
Mr Rusbridger said: "He wants that material back and he doesn't want it copied, and if the British state in whatever form - we're not sure which bit of the British state we're dealing with - wants to get that material, then they have to do it through more satisfactory procedure than this bizarre bit of the Terror Act that relates to ports and the transit lounges of airports."
The Home Office appeared to back Scotland Yard's decision to detain Mr Miranda, saying the Government and police "have a duty to protect the public and our national security".