Glenn Greenwald has recently written several stories about the electronic surveillance revelations about the NSA and GCHQ for The Guardian. His partner David was on his way back to their home in Rio de Janeiro, having visited a film-maker also working on the surveillance revelations.
Liberty has long argued that Schedule 7 is overbroad legislation, ripe for misuse and discrimination, and currently has a case pending at the European Court of Human Rights challenging the power. The case involves a British citizen of Asian origin who was detained at Heathrow under Schedule 7 for four and a half hours in November 2010. During his detention, he was questioned about his salary, his voting habits and the trip he had been on, among other matters. Copies were taken of all his paperwork and credit cards and the police kept his mobile phone, which was only returned to him eight days later after having to pay for its return himself. He had never previously been arrested or detained by the police and was travelling entirely lawfully.
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:
"David Miranda's chilling 9-hour detention was possible due to the breathtakingly broad Schedule 7 power, which requires no suspicion and is routinely abused. People are held for long periods, subject to strip searches, saliva swabbing and confiscation of property - all without access to a publicly funded lawyer. Liberty is already challenging this law in the Court of Human Rights but MPs disturbed by this latest scandal should repeal it without delay.”
Contact: Liberty Press Office on 0207 378 3656 or 07973 831128
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. On 28 May 2013 the European Court of Human Rights considered the arguments and decided that Liberty’s case is admissible. The Government is due to submit their submissions by 12th September 2013