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'Very dangerous': Campaigners and politicians' concern after police reasons for detaining partner of Snowden journalist Glenn Greenwald are revealed

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

November 3, 2013 | 3 min read

Politicians and campaigners have expressed concerns after it emerged that the police’s justification for detaining the partner of Snowden-leaks journalist Glenn Greenwald was that the material he was carrying – documents related to the Guardian investigation – promoted a “political or ideological cause”.

Controversy: Glenn Greenwald (left) and David Miranda

Padraig Reidy of Index on Censorship described the revelation as “very dangerous” while Conservative MP Dominic Raab questioned the behaviour of authorities.

The news emerged after documents were read in court last week ahead of a judicial review of David Miranda’s detention at Heathrow airport for nine hours under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in August.

Documents revealed why the police believed the Terrorism Act was the appropriate legislation for holding Miranda, who was on a trip to exchange documents with film maker Laura Poitras, who worked on the Snowden story with Greenwald that revealed the extent of spying and citizen surveillance carried out by the US.

The document stated: “We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people’s lives.

“Additionally the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under schedule 7.”

In response, free speech campaign Reidy told the Guardian: “The whole point of such journalism is to find stuff the government doesn’t want raised. The message this gives off is ‘don’t find this sort of stuff, or you will be treated as a terrorist’.”

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Raab asked: "If he [Miranda] was behaving in such a nefarious way why wasn't he arrested, charged and bailed?" Raab said. "If he was guilty of putting national security at risk, then why did they let him go?"

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