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High court challenge to Miranda seizures

6 November 2013

The National Union of Journalists has joined a coalition of media and free speech organisations in a High Court challenge to the use of counter-terrorism powers to detain David Miranda at Heathrow airport in August. David Miranda is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist reporting on the mass surveillance programmes by the United States National Security Agency.

At the time of the detention, the NUJ said:

“The treatment meted out to David Miranda is wholly unacceptable and it is time the use, or rather misuse, of terrorism legislation as a way of targeting individuals was properly and independently reviewed." 

The judicial review will decide if it was lawful to use Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act to detain Miranda and take confidential materials from him.

Organisations in the coalition include the Mirror group and Independent newspapers, Index on Censorship, the International Federation of Journalists, the Media Law Resource Centre, Liberty and PEN.

The NUJ supports a journalists' right to protect their source. The union's code of conduct, first established in 1936 and the first ethical code for journalists in the UK, states: A journalist "protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work".

The European Federation of Journalists has called for a review of terrorism laws in Europe.

Tags: , terrorism laws, david miranda, press freedom, newspapers