Author of 'Anti-Terrorism' Law Slams 'Unlawful' Abuse to Stifle Journalism

As public outrage over the the UK’s recent detention and interrogation of David Miranda grows, UK politician Charles Falconer, co-author of the ‘Schedule 7’ anti-terrorism law used by Metropolitan police to justify the detention, publicly charged that the law was abused in an unlawful bid to silence and intimidate journalists.

Miranda—partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald who exposed secret surveillance programs of the US and UK governments—was held at Heathrow Airport for nearly nine hours by security officials who cited the authority of the law to hold him and deprive him of his personal belongings, including digital media he was carrying.

“There is no suggestion that Miranda is a terrorist, or that his detention and questioning at Heathrow was for any other reason than his involvement in his partner Glenn Greenwald’s reporting of the Edward Snowden story,” declared Falconer in a statement published in the Guardian last week.

“If it is obvious to the state the person detained is not a terrorist, the state must have some purpose other than determining whether he is a terrorist in using the power—and that would render the use of the power unlawful,” Falconer continued.

“Schedule 7 does not contain a power to detain and question journalists simply because the state thinks they should not be able to publish material because of the damage publication might do, or because they do not approve of where the information came from,” he declared. “The state has exceeded its powers in this case.”

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