Miranda ruling could set bad precedent for press freedom

New York, February 19, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by today’s ruling by the U.K. High Court that said David Miranda was lawfully detained under antiterrorism legislation at Heathrow airport last summer.

“This ruling risks bracketing journalistic activity together with terrorism,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “The judges themselves acknowledged that Miranda’s detention and the seizure of the journalistic material he was carrying was ‘an indirect interference with press freedom.’ It would be unfortunate if it set a precedent.”

Miranda, partner and assistant to former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke many of the Edward Snowden stories, has said he will appeal the ruling, according to news reports. CPJ has previously called on U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to probe Miranda’s detention and return his data that was seized. On Tuesday, CPJ along with other members of the Global Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations, raised concerns of the global press freedom community about the recent deterioration of press freedom in the United Kingdom.