David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, said a hearing held this week in London on his challenge to British authorities for having detained him at Heathrow Airport in August is “all about getting everything straight and telling everybody that this law is an abuse of power," and to compel authorities to “give me back my electronics, which they are keeping.”
British authorities defended holding Miranda for over nine hours, stating in court documents that they had “legitimate concerns” that he was involved in “espionage” and “terrorism,” while Miranda has said he was working for Greenwald and his colleague, former Guardian journalist Laura Poitras. Miranda, a Brazilian citizen, was flying from Berlin en route to Rio, where he and Greenwald live, when he was detained in London on Aug. 19. No charges were filed against him, but Miranda’s laptop, cell phone and flash drives were seized and not returned. British authorities have said that the electronic media contains over 58,000 files from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart. Greenwald confirmed that Miranda was carrying documents supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“I was really glad to work with my partner in any way that I can,” Miranda said in an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress. “Glenn, Laura and the Guardian are doing tremendous work. What [the British government is] doing to me is outrageous and an abuse of power. I wanted to help Glenn in any way that I can. I didn’t think for a second that that would be a problem.” (Scroll down to listen to the interview)
Miranda discussed his fears during the time he was detained, including what he has said were threats of arrest if he didn’t answer questions.
“I was afraid,” he said. “I was very lucky to get out of there. But I was lucky because my partner was Glenn Greenwald [who was calling Brazilian officials] and he could talk with people to take me out of there. But who knows, in another situation, they could banish me.”
Miranda said his and Greenwald’s lives have changed dramatically. Greenwald recently told New York Times columnist Roger Cohen that he has concerns about coming to the U.S., fearful of the possibility that he could be arrested. “Not one of 20 lawyers I have spoken to has said, ‘Oh, you are being paranoid; of course they would never think of arresting you,’” Greenwald told Cohen. Miranda shares the concern.
“I have a little bit of concern about about traveling to the USA [and the] UK, Australia and Canada,” Miranda said. “I haven’t done anything wrong. We know we haven’t done anything. But those in power really, truly believe what we are doing is wrong. Our lives have changed a lot. We are concerned about traveling. But we're not afraid. We’re not sure what would happen. So we’re avoiding traveling right now.”
Listen to the interview below: