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UK defends detention of journalist's partner

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 7:25 a.m. CDT

LONDON — The British government has defended the detention of a journalist's partner for nine hours at Heathrow Airport, saying authorities "have a duty to protect the public and our national security."

Police used an anti-terrorism law to detain David Miranda, the partner of Guardian newspaper journalist Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald has published stories about U.S. and British surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The Home Office said Tuesday that police were right to stop people suspected of possessing "highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism."

Miranda was held on Sunday for nine hours and had electronic equipment confiscated.

Britain's opposition Labour Party is demanding to know whether the government knew in advance of the police decision to detain Miranda.

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