London – CAGE International Director Muhammad Rabbani was charged today at Bethnal Green police station for wilfully obstructing or seeking to frustrate a search examination under Schedule 7 when he was detained at Heathrow in November.
Mr Rabbani 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.
Mr Rabbani has taken a principled stance to protect the right to privacy in an ongoing case of torture that implicates high ranking officials. He will be challenging the charges at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on 20 June 2017.
Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said previously:
“This should be a moment of pride and celebration for Muslims. There are some members of our community that are not just going to complain, but who are going to take some legal steps which are outside the confined parameters of engagement while maintaining their integrity, humanity, commitment to principle and compassion for others.”
“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.”
Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:
“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 free Muslims from the constant harassment of Schedule 7 at airports.”
“At the core of this issue is the protection of crucial evidence of torture, the key to holding high ranking officials accountable for an international crime. This will be a landmark case that will test the rule of law and justice in the ‘War on Terror’.”
“I know what it is like to be forced to give your password to the authorities. In Bagram, I was tortured into surrendering my password. My colleague Rabbani was safeguarding vital and sensitive testimony, given to him by a victim of torture. Considering both the US and British Governments have been found complicit and responsible for the torture and abuse of hundreds of individuals, it is perfectly right that Rabbani does everything he can to ensure these crimes are accounted for.”
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(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.)