European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said she shared concerns about freedom of the media after U.K. police detained the partner of a journalist who broke news on U.S. surveillance programs.
“I fully share Mr. Jagland’s concerns,” Reding said today in a message on Twitter, referring to a letter sent to the U.K. government by Thorbjoern Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, an inter-governmental organization that promotes democracy and human rights.
The letter from Jagland, addressed to U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May, also cited the destruction of computer hard drives at the Guardian newspaper related to the case.
“These measures, if confirmed, may have a potentially chilling effect on journalists’ freedom of expression,” Jagland wrote in the letter.
Britain’s May said on Aug. 20 that U.K. police acted correctly in using anti-terrorism laws to detain David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, who reported for the Guardian newspaper on former security contractor Edward Snowden’s allegations about U.S. surveillance programs. Miranda was held for questioning for as long as nine hours at London’s Heathrow airport on Aug. 18.