Petition Closed
Petitioning Home Secretary and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead Rt Hon Theresa May MP and 2 others

UK Minister Mark Harper (@Mark_J_Harper): Release Video of 12-Hour Detention of Journalist Leah McGrath Goodman

This story now on HuffingtonPost: http://huff.to/19TEmSk

Read the motion from UK Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/344

All democracies should respect freedom of the press. Journalism is not a crime -- and it should not be treated as such. Ms. Goodman, an American author and journalist, was detained for 12 hours at Heathrow Airport and treated exactly as a criminal, though she had committed no crime. She was locked up, stripped of all her ID and belongings, denied access to consulate and lawyer -- something even criminals are allowed -- photographed and fingerprinted. Her "crime": researching VIP atrocities against children across the British Isles. She is legally entitled to the full video footage of her 12-hour detainment and any other information the U.K. still holds on her under the Data Protection Act. For two years, the U.K. has repeatedly ignored her requests. Please release this information at once.

FOR UPDATES, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @johnhemmingmp @truth_eater 

Letter to
Home Secretary and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Home Secretary, UK Member of Parliament Theresa May
Minister of State for Immigration, Member of Parliament Mark Harper
Release the Full CCTV Footage of the 12-Hour Detention at Heathrow Airport of Journalist Leah McGrath Goodman

I write in support of the two letters below that have been sent to you, Mr. Harper, by MP John Hemming and Leah McGrath Goodman. Please release the full CCTV footage of Ms. Goodman's 12-hour detainment at Heathrow Airport and any other information you still hold on her.

This stands as yet another example of the U.K. harassing international journalists who are researching topics it would rather not have researched.

It is a disgraceful violation of press freedoms and a threat to all human rights.
--

3 July 2013


Mark Harper:

Ms. Goodman made a Subject Access Request for CCTV footage and all other data relating to her detainment in October 2011, she received as a result of that request some documents which were stated to be the complete record kept by the UK Border Agency.

In a further Subject Access Request last year in January 2012, the UKBA declined to provide any additional data or documentation saying:

"We have no reason to believe that there would have been any significant changes or additions to the data held on the above-named subject...therefore, we are returning your subject access request and fee payment."

However, in the enclosed letter dated 29th May 2012, from Brian Moore, Director General of the Border Force, it is disclosed that CCTV footage of the detention is still on file and a copy could be obtained by way of a further Subject Access Request.

Ms Goodman has made that request, which was denied and she has been told that any further Subject Access Requests will be denied.

It is of great concern that the UKBA feels it is able to not comply with the Data Protection Act, a law passed by Parliament which, as a public body, it has a duty and requirement to comply with. It is of greater concern that the UKBA is aware that it holds this video evidence and seeks to suppress its disclosure, and it is deeply troubling that actions of its officers, which were denied in an investigation could be proven to have occurred had this evidence been turned over.

I am asking you to intervene in this process and demand that the UKBA comply with the Data Protection Act and provide the video evidence it has confirmed it holds to Ms. Goodman. A further delay would be pernicious.

Sincerely,

John Hemming, Member of Parliament

--
1 August 2013


Dear Data Protection Unit:

I am writing once more to file a Subject Access Request for any remaining information and footage held on me, Leah Susan Goodman, from 10 September 2011 to the present, particularly the full CCTV film of my detainment, which led to a lengthy investigation and is still on file.

BACKGROUND IN BRIEF:

I filed by registered mail my first SAR for my CCTV footage and all data pertaining to my detainment immediately after my detainment on 10 September 2011. The UK Border Agency confirmed receiving this 6 October 2011 (please see a copy of this document, enclosed).

I did not receive my CCTV footage. However, I was sent some paper documents under SAR, stating that this was the complete record (please see a copy of this statement, enclosed).

I wrote the UKBA again in November 2011, asking how to obtain the CCTV footage and did not receive a reply. I still have this letter and your receipt of it.

I filed another SAR with the UKBA, confirmed received 21 January 2012 (also enclosed) asking again for ALL info related to my detainment. The UKBA declined to provide any further items, stating: "We have no reason to believe that there would have been any significant changes or additions to the data held on the above-named subject...therefore we are returning your subject access request and fee payment."

On 29 May 2012, a member of MP John Hemming’s staff confirmed with Damian Green in a letter (again, see enclosed) my CCTV footage did exist. Prior to that, I was informed the footage had been destroyed. This letter I also still have in my possession. Yet further inquiries did not lead to my receiving the footage.

On 3 July 2013, a second staff member of MP John Hemming sent another letter (enclosed also) to Mark Harper of the Home Office to “intervene in this process and demand that the UKBA comply with the Data Protection Act and provide the video evidence it has confirmed it holds to Ms. Goodman. A further delay would be pernicious.”

It has been two years of my making humble requests for this information, starting with the month of my detainment. How many requests must be made? Please comply with my SAR request for my full CCTV footage as soon as possible.

Enclosed is the identification and usual proofs you require for this purpose. As I have already paid for the first SAR and you sent back other checks I have written (one of which I have enclosed as proof) I assume you do not expect any further money.

Sincerely,

Leah McGrath Goodman