Germany slams British action against Guardian
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Pedestrians walk past the entrance of the Guardian newspaper building in London August 20 2013. REUTERS photoGermany's top human rights official on Wednesday sharply criticised a British crackdown on the Guardian newspaper over its publication of US security secrets leaked by Edward Snowden.
Markus Loehning, the rights chief at the foreign ministry, expressed "great concern" about media freedom in Britain after the Guardian said it was forced to destroy files linked to US surveillance practices or face a court battle.
He also slammed the detention and questioning at a London airport on Sunday of the partner of US journalist Glenn Greenwald who has written extensively about Snowden's revelations for the Guardian.
"The United Kingdom has a long and proud tradition of freedom but the way the authorities detained David Miranda at Heathrow airport I see as unacceptable," he told the daily Berliner Zeitung.
"That took place on the basis of an anti-terror law but I cannot see any connection to terrorism. And the actions of the security services against the Guardian as described by editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger deeply shocked me.
"The red line was crossed there." David Miranda has been working with Greenwald and the Guardian on publishing material leaked by Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) worker who has turned leaker.
Loehning welcomed a "broad debate" in Britain about the authorities' actions and said his comments were intended as a "reminder of shared values among friends".