London – CAGE International Director Muhammad Rabbani has pleaded not guilty today to charges that have serious implications for journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers.
Mr Rabbani was charged on 17th May for not giving up his passwords during an interrogation by border police under Schedule 7 at Heathrow in November last year.
He was unable to hand over the passwords to his devices as he was carrying crucial evidence taken from a torture survivor and did not have permission from the client to share the information.
Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said previously:
“I am innocent of these charges that have serious implications for journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders.”
“I’m going into this eyes wide open and I’m not a victim, but I’m not a hero either. I do believe I am doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of a client.”
“It was heartening to see the ordinary people that attended the hearing today to show their support, especially the many mothers who I spoke to. They told stories about worrying for their children when they travel through UK borders and they expressed their appreciation of my decision to challenge these powers.”
Ibrahim Mohamoud, spokesperson for CAGE, said:
“Rabbani has taken a principled stance to protect the right to privacy in an ongoing case of torture that implicates high ranking officials. Not only is this of crucial importance, but the outcome of his case has implications for all of our rights to privacy, when there is no suspicion of any crime.”
“Rabbani’s courage and principle in these circumstances has been an inspiration to the community. We continue to support him in his efforts to protect the privacy of us all, and to end the constant harassment at airports.”
Maryam Ahmed, a mother that attended, said:
“We are mothers and have sons, and one day it could be my son. Muslims are vulnerable at this present time and Rabbani is taking this challenge for all of us. We should stand united with one another.”
Soraya Mubeen, another mother that attended, said:
“I stand with Rabbani, just like I’d stand with my own son. As a mother I constantly worry about my children when they travel, I worry they will be stopped and detained. These powers affect all of us and we stand in solidarity to uphold key values and principles.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)